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President Assad – Where are the disappeared?

Thousands of people have vanished in Syria in the last four years at the hands of the government. Countless others are being tortured and many are dying in cells around the country for their perceived opposition to the government. 

In just four years, thousands of men, women and children have vanished in Syria at the hands of the government.

Where are they?

Thousands have died in prisons around the country – a result of torture and appalling conditions. Countless others are crammed into cells, knowing that their families have no idea where they are.

Families search desperately for any information about their loved ones. They want to know why their son was taken, where their daughter is being held, if their brother is being tortured, whether their father is alive.

They may suffer for years without news.

President Assad, show us where they are. Let independent, international monitors into the country to visit all places where people are being held. Families have a right to know where their loved ones are. Not knowing is unbearable. 

Sign our petition demanding the Syrian government allows independent monitors into the country to inspect prisons and detention centres where thousands of civilians are being held. 

Your Excellency

I write to express concern about reports that since the beginning of the crisis the Syrian authorities have subjected tens of thousands of people to arbitrary detention or enforced disappearance. Many of them have been subjected to torture or other ill-treatment in Syria’s detention centres and thousands are reported to have died in custody as a result.

These practices clearly violate international law and the provisions of UN Security Council resolution 2139 and in many cases constitute war crimes. Insofar as they are carried out as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population and as part of state policy, they also amount to crimes against humanity.

I call on you to urgently ensure that the UN-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry is given unfettered access to all persons deprived of their liberty to investigate and monitor conditions in all detention facilities run by the Syrian government, its security forces and armed groups fighting on behalf of the state, and ensure that the families of those detained are informed about their legal status and whereabouts.

I urge you to ensure that the Syrian authorities comply without further delay with their obligations under international law and fully and effectively implement resolution 2139.

Yours sincerely