President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Salem Al-Meslet, welcomed the initiative launched by the United States to publicize the issue of detainees and forcibly disappeared persons in the prisons of the Assad regime and to call for their release. He stressed that the crimes of the Assad regime against the Syrian people cannot be tolerated without fair accountability that establishes a free, decent and democratic life in the country.
Al-Meslet pointed out that the issue of detainees and the forcibly disappeared is one of the most urgent issues that the SOC is working on in cooperation with the United Nations and the friends of the Syrian people. He said that the issue affects every Syrian citizen as there is hardly a Syrian family without a detainee or forcibly disappeared person.
Al-Meslet called on the international community to assume its responsibilities with regard to the issue of detainees, which was addressed in all UN resolutions on Syria. He stressed the need for the immediate release of the detainees and disclosing the fate of the forcibly disappeared.
Al-Meslet said that more efforts need be made to put pressure on the Assad regime to release detainees, disclose the fate of the forcibly disappeared, and expose the phony amnesty decrees it issues to blackmail the Syrian people and the international community.
The United States launched the campaign under the title ‘Without Just Cause,’ adding that the individuals highlighted in this initiative are emblematic of the many political prisoners held by governments in every region of the world. The initiative will include diplomatic engagement and public diplomacy in Washington, DC and by U.S. embassies abroad. It reflects input from political prisoner advocates, family members, and nongovernmental organizations.
The first individual the campaign will highlights is the Syrian doctor and chess champion, Rania Al-Abbasi, who was kidnapped by the Assad regime’s security forces in 2013 along with her husband, Abdul Rahman, and their six children, Dima, Intisar, Najah, Alaa, Ahmed and Layan who were aged between 1-14 at the time of their detention. Their fate is unknown to this day.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)