President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Alabdah has received a letter from Britain’s Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood detailing the UK’s position on the file of detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime.
Ellwood reiterated that his country’s government insists on making progress in this file and on releasing political detainees from Assad’s prisons.
He explained that the United Kingdom is aware of the existence of “widespread use of torture and executions in the regime’s prisons,” a fact that was confirmed by UN reports, including those by the International Commission of Inquiry.
The British minister pledged to work with international partners to expose the regime’s illegal practices against tens of thousands of Syrians, most notably arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances.
The letter came in response to letters previously sent by the Coalition president to the foreign ministers of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) calling for the establishment of a special task force similar to the ones established to monitor the cessation of hostilities agreement and humanitarian access in order to secure the release of all political detainees in Assad’s prisons. The Coalition’s letters also called for exercising pressure on the Assad regime to stop arbitrary arrests and random executions; for the establishment of effective mechanisms to monitor the situation of detainees in Assad’s prisons; and for holding to account all perpetrators of abuses and violations against detainees.
Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders earlier called for allowing the International Committee of the Red Cross to be able to monitor the situation of detainees in Assad’s prisoners and also raised the need to act urgently to address this file in response to a letter sent by the Coalition’s president Anas Alabdah.
The Syrian Coalition’s political committee previously held several consultative meetings with rights groups and human rights activists concerned with the file of detainees. The meetings resulted in the formation of joint mechanisms to coordinate efforts regarding this file. The political committee appointed Nora Alameer as coordinator to follow up on the latest developments concerning the situation of detainees. (Source: Syrian Coalition)