Syrians campaign over 'disappearances'

Opposition group Syrian National Coalition said 60,000 cases of disappearances demand a response from international community.

Syrians campaign over 'disappearances'

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Syrian National Coalition has called for more international efforts to investigate thousands of ‘disappearances’ in the war-torn country.

Speaking in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday, SNC vice president Noura al-Ameer urged the international community to pressure the regime of Bashar al-Assad about ‘enforced disappearance’ cases which the opposition claims number nearly 60,000.

Ameer said the issue had been raised with ambassadors in Turkey and the SNC expects a reaction from states around the world to the plight of all Syrian detainees and forcibly disappeared persons.

The Syrian activists started a ‘Bring Our Beloved Back’ campaign on the U.N. day for the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, August 30.

Ameer said the main aim is to bring those disappeared back to their families because "the issue is not political anymore; it is humanitarian."

"While other civilized governments around the world are in a race to open schools, universities, institutes and scientific research facilities, Assad's government is in the competition to build and expand prisons and create mass graves," Ameer said.

"We would like to find their whereabouts and bring them back without seeing them on the headlines of ‘Ceasar’ reports," Al-Ameer said.

On January 2014, Anadolu Agency published photographs from a Syrian army defector – codenamed "Ceasar" – detailing nearly 11,000 dead bodies, many of which showed signs of torture by regime forces.

Also speaking at the press conference was Ammar Tabbab of the Syrian Interim Government. He said there was great difficulty in documenting the names of victims in Syria or classifying if they had been disappeared by the regime or extremists from the ISIL.

"A crime is a crime; we should look at the issue in this way," he said. "We also requested the U.S.-led coalition not to conduct airstrikes on prisons, which are filled with kidnapped civilians right now."

Tabbab said a centralized database should be set up to show accumulated crimes and killings to courts and to the next generation of children – for them to see "the truth."

The speakers also urged the U.N. to reopen its Human Rights Bureau in Damascus, which was shut down by the Syrian regime, and send inspection teams to all acknowledged and secret detention centers.

Syria's civil war entered its fourth year on March after claiming more than 100,000 lives and displacing millions both within Syria and abroad.

Last Mod: 29 Eylül 2014, 17:40
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