Syrian Opposition Coalition
Department of Media and Communications
June 26, 2021
The brutal torture and systematic murder that have been practiced in the Assad regime’s detention centers since 2011 are one of the most urgent issues that the international community need to solve immediately.
The United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture – 26 June is a very important occasion to draw attention to torture and detention in Syria. It is an issue that must receiveunanimous agreement at the level of humanity as no human being must accept the continuation of this crime or approve it or condone its perpetrators.
Thousands of testimonies and tens of thousands of leaked photos revealed only a tip of the iceberg of the horrors that detainees are enduring in the regime’s dungeons day and night. Tens of thousands of young men, the elderly and children are still detained or forcibly disappeared. Custodial deaths have never stopped in light of the continuation of extrajudicial executions against detainees.
Survivors from the Assad regime’s prisons need support at all levels. Civil society organizations are making important efforts in this regard and working to empower and rehabilitate survivors. However, greater efforts are required to help survivors overcome the physical, psychological and social impact of the unspeakable suffering they have been exposed to, and the challenges that may accompany them for the rest of their lives.
It is the duty of the international community to assume its responsibilities with regard to this issue, and to take the necessary measures to ensure that international human rights organizations and the International Committee of the Red Cross have access to these prisons, and make immediate, periodic visits to them in order to ascertain the conditions inside these detention centers and make the necessary recommendations.
There is no value for international legitimacy if it is not able to deal with this issue with the humanitarian and legal urgency it deserves, and in a manner that guarantees the rescue of detainees from death cells, and the follow-up of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, especially those related to arbitrary detention and torture of civilians.
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) renews its calls to refer violations in Syria, including the issue of torture, to the International Criminal Court and punish those responsible for those violations.