The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) issued an appeal to the world about the risks the coronavirus pandemic poses to the Syrian people, especially those held in the prisons of the Assad regime which continues to deny the existence of any cases of the pandemic in Syria.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the SOC said that the risks of the pandemic are not limited to civilians in the regime-held areas as tens of thousands of detainees in the prisons of the regime represent the most vulnerable group.
“The photos that Caesar smuggled out of Syria represent but the tip of the iceberg of the reality inside the regime’s detention facilities since at least 2012. The regime continues to deny detainees the necessary food and medical care, confining them in overcrowded cells and continue to violate their rights by various means,” the SOC said.
The SOC warned that “if the pandemic finds its way into these overcrowded facilities, we will be in front of a terrible disaster that the regime might exploit to get rid of the detainees, which places direct responsibility on the relevant international organizations.”
“It is imperative that the international community exert real pressure on the regime to force it to give the International Committee of the Red Cross immediate, full access to its detention centers in order to ascertain the conditions of detainees.”
The SOC called on the humanitarian organizations, the United Nations agencies, the World Health Organization, and the International Committee of the Red Cross are required to carry out their duties with regards to the situation in Syria, including pressuring the regime to closely monitor the spread of the pandemic. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)