The forcibly disappeared and death records statement
Over the past few weeks, hundreds of
Syrian families have learned that their relatives,
disappeared in government detention centers have been died.
Especially in the recurrence of these incidents, more specifically, in the governorates of Hama,
Homs, Lattakia, Damascus, Damascus and Hasakeh,
The publication of the names caused panic among many Syrians, rushing to the offices of the
local civil registry inquiring about their loved ones.
Many people said that they received the news when they demanded routine records from the
Syrian administration, they were shocked discovering that the authorities had recently
registered their relatives as dead. Recent names included names of prominent political activists,
among then the non-violent leader activist Yahya Al-Sharbaji, who was arrested in 2011.
Most of cases, the authorities have not identified any cause of death, but have merely given a
date, which in many cases returned back to several years. When the authorities had given cause
for death, they mentioned words “heart attack” without further clarification.
The disclosure of these lists of such a large number confirms the methodology and the wide
range of crimes and criminal responsibility of all elements of the regime including the political
and ministerial level, which participated in, which confirmed that it is a crime against humanity
full of elements cannot be refuted nor deny the responsibility of all elements of the regime
about. All this is reinforced by witness’ testimonies from survivor victims and the pictures of
“Caesar’s file” that exposed this ugliest file in the Syrian situation
This death bureaucracy was revealed in the early 2014 by the military police dissident Caesar,
whose task there, was to photograph the dead bodies of the deceased, he had smuggled
thousands of photographs and internal documents revealing how each death of the detainees
was recorded, cataloged and photographed. There were even written instructions for burial. The
authorities know who died, but they decided to withhold this information about families, until
It is clear that one of the most basic rights of the victims’ families is the right to reach truth and
justice, it is their own right as families of the disappeared to know what happened to their
relatives. If they later are died, also they must be allowed to get back their remains and be
informed of the circumstances of the death through an independent investigation. There is also
a need for accountability for enforced disappearances and deaths in detention. For those, still in
detention, international observers’ access to their detention centers remains imperative.
This right of victims according to the International Law is an enforceable right to effective
redress, including equity and rehabilitation.
Syrian government must not be allowed to escape without accountability for mass
disappearances and killings again. For this purpose, it does not fulfill just the need to update
records, which may be accurate or not nor to discharge the Syrian government far from its
responsibility for the cases of others. Though the repeated demands of the Human Rights
Guardians to the United Nation and its appeals the United Nations actors through the bodies on
Disappearance, documenting 1,200 cases of enforced disappearance according to the Panel’s
form and sending 340 complaints to the Panel on Enforced Disappearance, but the Syrian
regime did not respond, only it revealed the fate of one person and did not specify his
As well as the notification of the Human Rights Guardians of the extrajudicial killings about
chemical murders in Khan Sheikhoun as well as with spacing rockets on December 17 and the
massacre of Zardana on June 7/ 2018, which killed 50 people and wounded dozens but no news
nothing to be mentioned.
In spite of the working group has been set up to examine the fate of the detainees in the eighth
round of talks to reduce the escalation in Astana under the auspices of Turkey, Russia, Iran and
the United Nations and a subsequent meeting will be held in Turkey, nothing mentioned except
these registers and information as a form of evasion of the government and exculpate it
towards those detainees. The great update of information is an attempt by the government to
end a major dilemma over the practice of enforced disappearance in the country by claiming
that the fate of these individuals has been determined. Moreover, by claiming that all of these
deaths occurred for natural reasons, the Government is attempting to hide the alleged crimes
committed in Syrian detention centers, where prisoners die due to worse conditions, out of the
lack of medical care, torture and extrajudicial killings, All of this is caused by impunity which has
been increased in Syria particularly.
Although the torture prohibition has become a norm and replaced many treaties and customary
The Syrian Human Rights Network published a report showing that 542 people were killed as a
result of torture in July 2018 and that the death outcome of torture amounted to 13,682 since
the start of the peaceful movement to July 2018.
We in the Human Rights Guardians, we emphasize that justice for the disappeared and their
families should be a non-negotiable condition for any peace treaty, and the UN Special Envoy
must give priority to the following measures.
-First, all remaining political detainees, whether detained by State or non-State forces, must be
released and basic information must be made available to non-political prisoners. “For victims’
relatives, an independent investigative committee, such as the existing International Committee
of inquiry or a fact commission should be mandated to investigate the enforced disappearances
and determine the fate of disappeared persons.
An urgent investigation, must be opened, to advocate prosecution and prevent and punish
Antioch / Antakya
Human rights Guardians