Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition, Dima Moussa, called on the international community to use all possible means to investigate violations being carried out by the Assad regime against detainees in its detention centers. She underscored the importance of trying to save the lives of the remaining detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime.
Moussa also stressed the need to document and classify crimes and violations against detainees as “war crimes and crimes against humanity,” adding that the Assad regime is violating all Syrian and international laws and conventions.
Moussa noted that the Assad regime has been recently seeking to cover up its crimes against detainees by ordering civil registry departments to register the deaths as happening due to natural causes.
The Assad regime has recently begun manipulating civil registry records by issuing death certificates for detainees without handing over the bodies to their families, according to human rights reports.
Furthermore, Moussa said that the Assad regime has systematically used arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance against dissident activists since the beginning of the revolution as a strategy to suppress the civil, peaceful movement.
“For several years, families of the detainees and the disappeared persons have been trying in vain to know the fate of their loved ones. In rare cases, some have been informed about the fate of their loved ones, while others managed to obtain some information through detainees who were released.”
“Deaths inside Assad’s prisons are certainly not occurring due to natural causes. It is worth recalling here the trove of photos of detainees that were smuggled out of Syria by Caesar, the codename of the defecting military photographer, and which clearly showed the dreadful fate detainees are facing in Assad’s prisons. We know well that torture is the main reason for their death,” Moussa added.
The National Commission on Detainees and Missing Persons earlier issued a statement regarding the Assad regime’s recent handover of lists of names of detainees who died in detention to civil registry departments. It stressed that this move amounted to striking evidence of the Assad regime’s responsibility for their enforced disappearance, calling for holding senior regime officials to account for crimes against humanity.
The Commission renewed calls on the UN Security Council to address the tragic situation in the prisons and detention centers of the Assad regime with some sense of human responsibility and to take a bold decision to refer the war crimes in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)