News24

28 000+ forcibly disappeared in Syria

2012-10-18 19:12

Beirut - At least 28 000 people have disappeared in Syria since the start of an anti-regime uprising 19 months ago, arrested by troops or pro-government militiamen, a global activist group said on Thursday.

Avaaz said the forced disappearances were part of a "deliberate" campaign by the authorities to silence dissent against the government of President Bashar Assad.
"Syrians are being plucked off the street by Syrian security forces and paramilitaries and being 'disappeared' into torture cells," Alice Jay, campaign director at Avaaz, said in a statement.

"This is a deliberate strategy to terrorise families and communities," she said, adding that panic bred by forced disappearances helps silence anti-regime dissent.

Rising death toll

Avaaz said at least 28 000 people have gone missing but that the number could be much higher.

"Human rights groups working inside Syria estimate that between 28 000 to 80 000 Syrians have been forcibly disappeared by the Assad regime over the past 19 months."

"The fate of each and every one of these people must be investigated and the perpetrators punished," said Jay.

"Nobody is safe."

Avaaz said it interviewed relatives of people who disappeared since the conflict erupted in mid-March last year and would hand over their testimony to the UN Human Rights Council, calling on the international body to investigate.

Effects

One woman, identified by Avaaz as Mais, said that she has concealed from her children the disappearance of her husband in the central province of Homs in February.
"The children need a father in their lives," Mais said. "They always ask me, ‘Where is Dad? Who took him?’ And I don’t know how to respond. I have to lie to them. I tell them he is at work, that he is ok."

The sister of anti-regime protester Anas al-Shaghuri, 23, said he went missing in the coastal city of Banias in May last year and was reportedly handed over to security forces by someone he trusted.

He was tortured in detention, a fellow prisoners told the family, Avaaz reported.

Under international law, "the widespread or systematic practice of enforced disappearance constitutes a crime against humanity", said Avaaz.

Enforced disappearances in Syria are not new, according to Avaaz which says that some 7 000 people who went missing during the rule of Assad's father and former president, Hafez Assad, are still unaccounted for.

Comments
  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-18 20:03

    Have you checked with the refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan. Are all the refugees in those countries documented. "Under international law, "the widespread or systematic practice of enforced disappearance constitutes a crime against humanity", said Avaaz. Rendition....International law remains an imperial project, in which only the crimes committed by vassal states are highlighted and punished.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-19 02:25

      The ones from the violent loony left, will do ANYTHING to cover up the atrocities committed by this assad monster. These dissapearences are nothing new !!! They been happening for over FIFTY YEARS !!!!! THAT is what the opposition is fighting for; " To get rid of these criminal thugs ,who have been terrorizing them , for so many years"

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-19 02:49

      "International law remains an imperial project". Rendition: Fidel is stuck in 1950's debunk Marxism that every country on Earth has thrown out, except Cuba. Of course Fidel also believes Nelson Mandela is a phony, a lackey of the West, a modern-day Uncle Tom. His exact words.

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-19 09:11

      fred and anthony Fidel.mgogi is a woman you idiots..and please reply to Shane Loxton's commnet on the article "Syrian rebels unite"

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-19 03:53

    Tragic beyond words, and so unnecessary. There is way too much pain and suffering in our world, much of it unspoken.

  • sisie.indola - 2012-10-19 07:59

    I wonder if Assad goes to sleep at night thinking "was all this worth it?"

  • tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-10-19 09:12

    Typical activists style pulling statistics outa his ass.

      tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-10-19 09:15

      These \activists\ are more like disinfo propaganda agents working for the rebels. They are a disgrace to true activists around the world.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-19 10:50

      Tom 93635735389366309743652 You sound like a 1980s Nat !!!!

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