Amnesty International has launched a petition urging the Assad regime to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the people it forcibly disappeared in its prisons. In recent weeks, the Assad regime has issued lists containing the names of thousands of detainees who died under torture in its prisons.
Amnesty urged Russia and the influential countries in Syria to push the Assad regime to disclose the whereabouts and fate of the missing and disappeared.
Since the Syrian revolution begun in 2011, more than 75,000 people have vanished or have been forcibly disappeared, mostly by the Assad regime, the watchdog group said. Many have been tortured or ill-treated in prisons, and more than 15,000 have died in custody as a result, Amnesty added.
The Assad regime is subjecting tens of thousands of civilians, aid workers and peaceful activists to enforced disappearance or arbitrary detention – just to spread fear and collective punishment amongst the Syrian civilian population, Amnesty said.
Amnesty went on to say that these practices are carried out as part of a widespread, systematic attack directed against the civilian population. They clearly violate international law, and in many cases, constitute war crimes.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said it had documented the names of more than 118,000 people who were detained in Syria, 88 percent of whom were in the Assad regime’s custody. It is estimated that the real number exceeds 215,000.
Amnesty called for taking action and pledging support for the families of the missing and disappeared. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)