The United States has raised the issue of tens of thousands of detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime, the majority of whom were arbitrarily arrested following the start of the Syrian revolution in 2011. The US has called on the UN Security Council to address the issue and discuss it in the coming weeks.
“The plight of Syrian civilians arbitrarily detained by the Assad regime is one humanitarian issue that is often overshadowed by the barbarity of the Assad’s military campaign in broad daylight, the continued forced starvation siege of Rukban, and continued restrictions on UN access, said Cherith Norman Chalet the US Ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday.
In remarks at a UN Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria, Chalet said: “There is both a humanitarian and a political imperative for advancing progress on improving transparency and access to regime prisons, and securing the release of those Syrians arbitrarily detained by the regime, especially women, children, and the elderly.”
The US diplomat went on to say that the United States intends to call for a UN Security Council briefing on the topic of detainees and missing persons in Syria in the coming weeks to mobilize the need for urgent action to be taken to address this issue.
In a report issued last March, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said that about 128,000 people are still detained and forcibly disappeared in the prisons of the Assad regime and its allied militias.
In late June, around 50 Syrian civil organizations sent a joint letter to the UN Security Council calling for immediate action on the issue of missing persons and detainees in Syria. They welcomed the issuance of UN Security Council resolution 2474 issued on 11 October to discuss the issue of the missing persons.
Moreover, the Syrian Coalition welcomed the US position on the issue of detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime. It called on the UN Security Council, international human rights organizations, and the United Nations to exert real pressure on the major players to force the Assad regime to disclose the fate of tens of thousands of civilians who have been forcibly disappeared and immediately release the thousands of detainees in its prisons.
The issue of detainees is among the major war crimes the Assad regime has committed over the past years. Dozens of reports by rights groups confirmed the Assad regimes’ responsibility for the systematic, deliberate killing of tens of thousands of people under torture. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)