The State of Qatar and the Principality of Liechtenstein delivered a joint letter to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about the Assad regime’s recent issuance of thousands of death notices for detainees who died under torture in its prisons. The letter condemned the Assad regime’s systematic violations, torture and execution of detainees.
The letter was signed by Qatar and Liechtenstein on behalf of 41 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Morocco, Mexico, Austria, Italy, Turkey, France, Canada, and the Netherlands.
The letter expressed “deep condemnation and concern at reports that monitor the Syrian regime’s violations, abuses, torture and systematic killing of prisoners whose only charge was the demand for freedom, justice and peaceful coexistence.”
The letter noted that the Assad regime “violated the right of families of prisoners to know the fate of their relatives and bury them.” It pointed out that “many of the families of the prisoners were avoiding conducting condolence ceremonies when they learned of the death of their relatives for fear of brutality of the Syrian regime.”
The signatory States called on the United Nations to investigate the torture and executions of prisoners and to act to punish the Assad regime for its crimes, its continuous violation of human rights and the endangerment of the lives of millions of innocent Syrians.
They stressed that disappearances and forced torture are one of the most important issues that the United Nations must consider and address in the political process that it leads in Syria.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) earlier said that it had compiled a list of the names of 118,000 people who were detained in Syria, 88 percent of whom were held in the Assad regime’s detention facilities. Other human rights groups said that the figure could be much higher, especially as tens of thousands of people were forcibly disappeared.
The Network also said that it had documented the deaths of more than 13,000 people under torture in Syria, 99 per cent of whom died at the hands of the Assad regime.
The Syrian Coalition earlier called for activating the work of the international neutral mechanism to hold accountable perpetrators of war crimes in Syria. Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch called on Assad regime to reveal the real causes of the death of detainees, stressing that “a slip of paper with a date of death is no answer.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)