Syrian Opposition Coalition – Syria
Department of Media and Communications
August 30, 2020
As the world marks the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the Assad regime carries on with its policies of kidnapping and enforced disappearance as part of its relentless war on the Syrian people. These policies are aimed at silencing prominent activists; instill terror in the heart of the Syrian people; break their will; and prevent them from continuing their struggle for freedom, justice, and dignity.
The crimes of enforced disappearance at the hands of the Assad regime and its allied militias have affected all groups of people, including the most vulnerable, such as women, children and the elderly. Rights organizations have documented up to 150,000 forcibly disappeared people at the hands of the Assad regime. At least 901 cases of arbitrary arrest have been documented since the beginning of 2020, the majority of whom have been forcibly disappeared according to the Syrian Network for Rights Human.
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) reiterates its calls on the UN Security Council to enforce its relevant resolutions. It stresses the need for the enforcement of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, including the disclosure of the circumstances of the disappearance and the fate of the disappeared persons. Concrete action must also be taken to determine the whereabouts of the forcibly disappeared and ensure their release, determine the location of the remains of the deceased and bury them with due respect; provide families of the victims with appropriate compensation; and ensure an end to these crimes.
The Assad regime is mainly to blame for the appalling tragedy unfolding in Syria. In this occasion, we remember the detainees who were killed under torture in the Assad regime’s military security branches and whose torment was revealed by the Caesar photos. Tens of thousands of detainees in the Assad regime’s prisons and dungeons are still enduring brutal methods of torture and deprivation, with the additional threat imposed by the outbreak of the coronavirus in Syria.
The continued lack of effective efforts to disclose the fate of tens of thousands of forcibly disappeared persons represents a bitter disappointment for tens of thousands of families.
There must be an immediate end to the disgraceful international inaction towards the Assad regime’s ongoing horrific crimes and violations of human rights. These crimes must be stopped, their recurrence prevented, and those responsible held accountable.
It is imperative that rights activists, civil society organizations, and independent bodies take swift action and urge international institutions and the major actors to assume their responsibilities with regard to these systematic crimes. We reiterate the calls for referring these atrocious crimes to the International Criminal Court and holding the perpetrators to account along with all those responsible for the war crimes and crimes against humanity taking place in Syria.