The Association of Syrian Journalists has issued a report warning that the Assad regime is attempting to evade justice by manipulating the issue of enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention. The Association claims that the regime has recently issued decrees that violate human rights and aim to prevent perpetrators from being held accountable.
According to the report, the continued enforced disappearance of Syrian and foreign journalists in Syria constitutes war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Association is calling for the release of 39 journalists who are still detained or forcibly disappeared in Syria, including seven foreign journalists.
The report states that ISIS is responsible for abducting the most media professionals, with responsibility for 17 cases. The Assad regime is second on the list with responsibility for 8 cases, followed by the PYD militia with responsibility for 6 cases, and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham with responsibility for two cases. Other armed parties are responsible for 6 cases.
Out of 33 foreign journalists who have been detained or kidnapped in Syria since 2011, the fate of 7 of them is still unknown. Four of them are detained by the Assad regime as of the publication of the report.
The Association is urging the international community to implement UN Security Council Resolution No. 2254 of 2015 and take practical steps to expedite the implementation of a political transition process. The resolution includes justice mechanisms that hold criminals accountable and prevent their impunity.
The Syrian Opposition Coalition has also called on the international community to take action to force the Assad regime to release detainees and reveal the fate of those forcibly disappeared in its prisons and detention centers. The SOC stressed the need to activate the path of accountability for war crimes perpetrators and to prevent impunity.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)