The Assad regime continues to conceal the fate of over 118,000 civilians that regime forces have arbitrarily arrested or subjected to enforced disappearance since March 2011, warned the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, stressing that only revealing the fate of these people will dispel doubts that they have been executed.
The Geneva-based human rights group on Wednesday said the Assad regime forces and their allies have been carrying out arbitrary arrests of anyone likely to oppose the regime in the country.
“There is no legal basis for detaining these people without notifying their families of their whereabouts, especially that they have not undergone any trials, which is directly contrary to the provisions of the International Covenant on Political Rights and other international instruments relating to international human rights law, international humanitarian law or international criminal law.” the Monitor added.
The rights group went on to say that detainees in Assad prisons are not only Syrians. It said that Assad forces arbitrarily arrested approximately 1,700 Palestinian refugees from their refugee camps in various Syrian governorates. More than 500 of them have reportedly been killed under torture in prisons or in security and intelligence centers during the last seven years.
“The Syrian regime’s silence over the numbers and conditions of detainees clearly violates international treaties,” said Sarah Pritchett, Euro-Med’s spokeswoman, citing Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which affirms “rights to liberty and security of the person.”
“Such violations also contravene Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, added Pritchett, which affirms that “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile,” considering such practices as a crime against humanity.
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor called on the international institutions, especially the United Nations, to urge the Assad regime to disclose the fate of tens of thousands of civilians who have been subjected to enforced disappearance and to immediately release the thousands of others detained in Assad’s prisons and security centers. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Arabi21)