President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Anas Abdah, sent a letter to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, to urge swift action for the detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime. He warned of the danger of an outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, especially in light of the inhumane conditions in those prisons.
President Abdah pointed out that tens of thousands of detainees in the regime’s custody are going through unspeakable suffering, warning of the spread of the coronavirus in the regime’s detention facilities.
“If the pandemic finds its way into these overcrowded facilities – if it has not already – we will be facing a catastrophe that the regime might exploit to get rid of the detainees, but which also will have global repercussions,” President Abdah said.
He went on to say that the Assad regime “continues to cover up cases of the coronavirus in Syria, having until now admitted to only one case. However, based on the numbers in the region and given the fact that the regime opened Syria’s borders wide for militias … it is impossible to believe there is only one coronavirus case in Syria.”
President Abdah called on the ICRC to use all the means at its disposal to get immediate and full access to detention centers in order to ascertain the conditions of detainees.
He also called for pressing for saving the lives of tens of thousands of detainees and ensure their immediate release.
Moreover, President Abdah called for pressing the Assad regime, through the UN and governments, to have complete access to detention sites and elsewhere to be able to closely monitor the spread of the pandemic and provide the necessary medical care. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)