Secretary-General of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Haytham Rahmeh, stressed that the Assad regime had turned the issue of detainees and forcibly disappeared into a business through which it is making big money by blackmailing detainees’ families.
Rahmeh pointed out that the Assad regime does not want to end this practice as it continues to detain and kidnap civilians. He added that the regime is using middlemen in a complex, secret network to extort huge sums of money in exchange for the release of detainees and for giving information about their fate and whereabouts.
Rahmeh said that there is hardly a Syrian family that does not have a detainee or a kidnapped member, adding that this practice is one of the policies that the Assad regime has systemically pursued to rule and control the country. He said these practices had worsened following the start of the revolution.
He called on the international community to take serious steps to force the regime to release detainees, disclose the fate of the forcibly disappeared, and not be deceived by the false amnesty decrees the regime is using. He also stressed the importance of ensuring accountability for the perpetrators of war crimes.
(Source: SOC’s media department)