Turkey – Syrian families plead to reveal fate of their loved ones
Location: Istanbul – Turkey
Source: A24 Istanbul
Restrictions: A24 Subscribers
Syrian activists in Turkey call on all international and humanitarian human rights organizations to move quickly and rescue the remaining detainees in Syrian prisons.
The plea comes during a forum dubbed “The Right to Reveal One’s Fate” organized by the Harmoon Center for Contemporary Studies in cooperation with the General Union of Detainees.
Many families plead the international community to just be given an answer whether to keep hoping for their loved ones’ return.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad granted a general amnesty for Syrian citizens detained on terrorism-related crimes, except for crimes that resulted in death on April 30th.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) estimated at least more than 149,000 Syrians were in detention centers or forcibly disappeared.
It has documented the release of 193 detainees since May 1st but no information has been provided about the many others who remain locked away.
The SNHR said Prison and detention center conditions remained harsh and in many instances were life threatening due to food shortages, gross overcrowding, physical and psychological abuse, and inadequate sanitary conditions and medical care.
– Soundbite (Amira Tayyar – Sister and mother of detainees):
“It is reassuring to know there are still people concerned for the detainees and forcibly disappeared persons in Assad’s regime prisons. I traveled from Kaisari to Istanbul to talk about our pain and suffering, to tell people we have children who forcibly disappeared in Bashar al-Assad’s regime prisons. I have not received any news about my brother and son since they were detained in 2013. All detainees are like brothers to me, as I was a detainee so I understand their suffering. When some of us were released, the rest of the detainees hoped people would still fight for them but concerned authorities have not taken any action. Families of detainees are concerned for them, they want to know what is happening to them.”
– Soundbite (Rose Al-Nimri – Human rights activist):
“We want to bring people’s attention to the fact that there are forcibly disappeared persons in Syrian regime prisons since over 11 years ago. We want to convey this to the whole world.”
– Soundbite (Mahmoud Al-Hamawi – CEO of the General Union of Detainees):
“The campaign ‘The Right to Know the Fate’ is for families of detainees to demand the right to know the fate of their children. We launched this campaign in several European countries, as well as northern Syria. We organized this event to stress the right to know the fate of the detainees in accordance with international human rights law.”