Syrian Opposition Coalition
Department of Media and Communications
June 30, 2023
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) welcomes the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution that will establish an independent institution to respond to the missing persons crisis in Syria. The SOC remains committed to cooperating and fully supporting all efforts aimed at securing the release of detainees and forcibly disappeared persons in the prisons of the Assad regime. In light of this development, the SOC wishes to clarify the following points:
Firstly, the SOC emphasizes the necessity of linking this mechanism to the issue of forcibly disappeared persons and their release, as outlined in UN Resolution 2254. It is crucial that the institution also addresses accountability for the violence, torture, and brutal abuses inflicted upon detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime, which have been aptly described by international human rights organizations as “human slaughterhouses.”
Secondly, the issue of detainees is non-negotiable, and the SOC vehemently rejects the Assad regime’s use of detainees as a bargaining chip for political gains. The SOC urges the international community to intensify efforts in securing the release of all detainees and not to be satisfied solely with revealing their fate.
Thirdly, the SOC strongly advocates for the establishment of a deterrent mechanism that compels the Assad regime to cooperate with the independent institution on the missing persons crisis. It is evident how the Assad regime has obstructed the work of independent international commissions, particularly those investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria, over the past several years.
Fourthly, the demand for the release of detainees and forcibly disappeared persons in the prisons of the Assad regime is an ongoing and pressing issue. Human rights groups, notably the Syrian Network for Human Rights, have documented more than 250,000 cases of detainees. This demand is especially urgent considering that the Assad regime continues to employ detention and kidnapping as tools of repression, stifling freedom of opinion.
Lastly, the SOC extends its gratitude to all those who contributed to the issuance of this crucial resolution. The SOC calls for intensified international efforts to end the Syrian tragedy caused by the Assad regime and its allies, promote accountability, and facilitate a political transition in accordance with UN Resolution 2254.