President of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Anas Abdah, stressed the importance of accountability for the war criminals of the Assad regime and the terrorist militias, and that achieving justice in Syria is a non-negotiable demand. He made these remarks at an event organized by the Detainees Committee with official hosting by the United States and Turkey and support from the European Union and Germany under the title “Justice in Syria: The Role of Accountability, Victims’ Rights, and Sustainable Peace.”
The event brought together acting assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs in the US State Department Michael Kozak, Turkey’s Permanent Representative to the UN Geneva Office Sadık Arslan, Chair of the Commission for International Justice and Accountability Stephen Rapp, Chair of the Detainees Committee at the Syrian Negotiations Commission Alice Mofrej, member of the Constitutional Committee Tariq Al-Kurdi, member of the SOC’s political committee Yasser Farhan, and activists in the Syrian civil society.
Abdah said that hundreds of thousands of detainees are still suffering in the prisons of the Assad regime, whose only sin was demanding a free, just democratic state. In addition to lack of any aspect of humanity, detainees are being subjected to physical and psychological torture, humiliation, cold, fear, and death.
Moreover, Abdah said that families of the detainees and forcibly disappeared persons are waiting for news about their sons, daughters, fathers and mothers. Meanwhile, the Assad regime is trying to exploit the issue of detainees and missing persons in order to achieve economic and political gains by extorting the Syrian people and the international community.
“We are making all possible efforts to push the issue of detainees to the fore as well as mobilize international pressure for their release as soon as possible. This purely humanitarian issue must not be subject to negotiations or used as a bargaining chip,” he added.
Abdah pointed out that the international community and the UN envoy to Syria are fully aware that the Assad regime is obstructing progress in this issue. “We are yet to see a concrete action for the release of the detainees.”
He made it clear that mercilessly shedding the blood of the Syrian people and ruling them with iron and fire has been the Assad regime’s strategy in suppressing the Syrian revolution and the demands of the Syrian people. Accountability is therefore a necessary requirement in order to enable our people to regain their rights and prevent criminals from continuing their actions and violations.
The Assad regime is seeking to blackmail the Syrian people and the international community in order to evade accountability, he said, adding that the Syrian people will not be at ease until the criminals who killed their families, bombed their homes, displaced them, and deprived them of the basic necessities of life are held to account. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)