Syrian National Commission for the Defense of Detainees and Missing Persons
October 30, 2020
Ahmed Khamis, who is from the Yarmouk refugee camp and affiliated with the Fatah movement, spent 14 years in captivity in Israeli. After he was freed, he was detained by the Assad regime’s intelligence services for attempting to resist the Israeli occupation in the Golan Heights. He is added to no fewer than 1,797 Palestinian-Syrians who were detained by the Assad regime, among them 110 women and 49 children. Their fate, along with the fate of nearly a quarter of a million Syrians, is still unknown.
The Action Group for Palestinians of Syria monitoring group said that the Assad regime has recently sent Khamis to the notorious Sednaya Prison. He was freed from the Israeli occupation prisons in an exchange deal with the remains of Israeli soldier Zechariah Baumel.
The Group stated that the Assad regime arrested Khamis a few days after his arrival in Syria, and has forcibly disappeared him since June. The Group knew that Khamis had spent time in Branch 253, also known as the Palestine Branch, where was subjected to torture. He was later taken to the notorious Sednaya Prison outside Damascus, with reports indicating that his health is deteriorating.
This incident, along with countless similar incidents before it, exposed the real role of the Assad regime and its partners in the so-called axis of resistance, and also exposed the falsehood of their claims about defending Palestine and supporting the resistance.
Indeed, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, brutal torture and execution of detainees are pillars of the strategy that the Assad regime adopted in its rule of Syria. We in the Syrian National Commission for the Defense of Detainees and Missing Persons stress that the suffering of the Syrian people cannot be ended without achieving a genuine political transition. Likewise, return of refugees cannot take place under a regime that poses a serious threat to peace and security.
We hold the Assad regime responsible for Khamis’ safety of as we call on the UN to exert pressure on the Assad regime to force it to disclose his fate and give international monitors access into Sednaya Prison and the rest of its prisons. We also call upon the international community, its peoples, governments and organizations, to take serious action for the release of Khamis and all detainees in the Assad regime’s prisons. We also call for concrete action to redress the victims and hold the perpetrators accountable.