The Syrian Coalition’s National Commission on Detainees and Missing Persons on Thursday held a press conference in Istanbul on death of detainees under torture in the prisons of the Assad regime and the responsibility of the international community towards this issue.
Yasser Al-Farhan, member of the Coalition’s political committee, said that the Assad regime’s continued arrest and torture of activists will further fuel the Syrian revolution. He underscored photos of victims that Caesar leaked along with other documents and reports that were released by international commissions of inquiry and independent rights organizations have exposed the magnitude of the crime that cannot be covered up.
The Assad regime indicts itself and provides evidence of its involvement in the kidnapping and enforced disappearance of detainees over the past several years,” al-Farhan told reporters. The Assad regime has recently begun issuing death notices for detainees who have died while in its custody. It has refused to hand over their bodies to their families or inform them of their burial sites as well as refused to launch neutral, fair investigation to determine the cause of death.
“Putting an end to the crime of genocide in Syria and the protection of human rights are a collective responsibility under all the divine laws, international laws and the values of the free world.”
Al-Farhan went on to say that Russia continues to block any resolution at the UN Security Council to refer the Assad regime to the International Criminal Court. He wondered about the reasons behind the repeated delays in the issuance of the Caesar Act by the US Congress as well as the causes of the failure to take judicial action to prevent those involved in these crimes from escaping justice.
The Commission highly appreciated the efforts being made by Turkey, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Astana talks forcing the Assad regime to accept the rule of international human rights law.
“We also appreciate the positions made by France, England, Germany, Turkey, the United Sates, Qatar, Liechtenstein, Saudi Arabia and other friendly countries regarding the issue of detainees.”
The Commission called upon all parties of the international community to take urgent and extraordinary measures to protect detainees and exert real pressure on the Assad regime to force it to stop its atrocious crimes against detainees in its prisons.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) earlier said that it had compiled a list of the names of 118,000 people who were detained in Syria, 88 percent of whom were held in the Assad regime’s detention facilities. Other human rights groups said that the figure exceeded 215,000, especially as tens of thousands of people were forcibly disappeared.
The National Commission on Detainees and Missing persons was formed by a decision of the Syrian Coalition. Technically, it works independently to defend the detainees and missing people in Syrians from all parties and to represent them in international forums using the legitimate means with the aim of stopping torture against them and protect them and ensure their release. The Commission is the legal reference to the issue of Syrian detainees. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)