Number of Missing People in Syria Skyrockets, Say Rights Groups
Reiterating earlier concerns raised by human rights groups including Amnesty over enforced disappearances of thousands of members of the Syrian opposition, activists working in Syria estimate at least 28,000 people have gone missing since protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime erupted 18 months ago.
Rights activists claim to have the names of 18,000 missing people and are aware of another 10,000 cases, BBC reported.
According to Amnesty, enforced disappearances, through arrest, detention or abduction by the state or agents acting for the state, have been the hallmark of Al-Assad family’s rule. The state denies that the person is being held or conceals their whereabouts, placing them outside the protection of the law.
In most cases, arbitrary arrest and detention of political suspects, which in itself is a breach of international law, are followed by gross violations of their right to fair and public trial or by total denial of any trial.
Fadel Abdulghani of the Syrian Network for Human Rights estimates that 28,000 people have disappeared since the beginning of Syrian uprising, BBC reported.
According to activists quoted by the BBC, the Syrian regime was resorting to mass arrests to get rid of rebels as well as to discourage people from opposing the regime.
Alice Jay, campaign director of online activist group Avaaz which has launched a campaign to save the disappeared people of Syria says “nobody is safe” from a deliberate government campaign of terror.
Syrians are being “plucked off the street by security forces and paramilitaries and being ‘disappeared’ into torture cells,” she told BBC.