Syrian Opposition Coalition
Department of Media and Communications
August 30, 2021
The Assad regime has pursued the policies of kidnapping and enforced disappearance against the Syrian people for decades. With the outbreak of the Syrian Revolution, the crimes of kidnapping and enforced disappearance dramatically escalated and became an essential part of the Assad regime’s war on Syrians in a desperate attempt to break their will and crush their quest for freedom.
Human rights organizations have documented hundreds of thousands of cases of enforced disappearance, with the fate of the vast majority of the forcibly disappeared still unknown. The international community’s inaction and total abdication of responsibility allowed the Assad regime to commit more crimes with impunity.
On the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) stresses that the reality of human rights and the ongoing crimes against the Syrian people, including war crimes, enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial executions, in addition to the crimes of looting, siege and mass forced displacement require more cooperation among the competent organizations and authorities. This cooperation is vital for activating the role of the international community and mobilizing efforts to rescue and redress the victims.
It is imperative that the UN Security Council assume its responsibilities; implement its relevant resolutions; and uphold the Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Measures must be taken to reveal the circumstances of disappearance; the fate of the disappeared; search for the disappeared; determine their whereabouts; ensure their release; and – in the event of their death – locate their remains, while ensuring the right to compensation for material and moral damage and an end to this crime.
The murderous Assad regime represents a pernicious and chronic case. The international actors are required to support political transition in Syria in accordance with UN resolutions and refer war criminals, chief among them is the head of the criminal regime, to the International Criminal Court.