Coordinator of the Syrian National Commission for Detainees and Missing Persons, Yasser Al-Farhan, said that the Assad regime “lives off the blood of Syrian people,” adding that the Commission has documented the testimonies of ex-detainees in the regime prisons. He said that these testimonies brought to light the scale of atrocities and violations of international conventions and norms.
Al-Farhan, who is also member of the Syrian National Coalition’s political committee, said that the Commission has recently listened to testimonies of ex-detainees who were detained or abducted by the regime’s national defense and shabiha militias. The Commission also interviewed relatives of detainees and the missing and documented their testimonies in accordance with international standards.
Al-Farhan pointed out that the move came as part of the Commission’s efforts to document the regime’s violations against detainees. The Commission has also been collecting evidence and supporting the cases being reviewed by the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) and other international bodies. He underscored the importance of accountability for of war crimes and its impact on the future of Syria.
Moreover, Al-Farhan described the testimonies of the survivors as “shocking and appalling,” adding that Assad regime officials committed widespread war crimes against detainees, such as torture, sexual violence, and executions.
The Assad regime extensively used arrests and abductions as part of its strategy to suppress the Syrian revolution, noting that this strategy is based on spreading fear and terror in the hearts of civilians.
Al-Farhan added that arrests and abductions are still ongoing. He said that the Assad regime refuses to disclose the fate, names and whereabouts of detainees in its custody. It also refuses to implement international resolutions and the humanitarian provisions related to the release of detainees.
“The Assad regime extorts families of detainees by demanding huge amounts of money in exchange for information about their loved ones. This extorted money has become a main income for the regime and its repressive security forces.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)