Almost 500 arbitrarily detained in Syria last month

Almost 500 arbitrarily detained in Syria last month
Rights groups report 496 cases of arbitrary detentions in Syria last month, overwhelmingly carried out by regime forces.
2 min read
05 February, 2018
Widespread use of torture has been documented in Syria's regime prisons [AFP]
The Syrian Human Rights Network has documented at least 496 cases of arbitrary detention in Syria in January, saying that the Syrian regime is responsible for around 87 percent of the arrests.  

Victims families are often unable to determine who they were arrested by and their whereabouts.

The report said that 389 of the detainees were held by the Syrian regime, including 19 children and 41 women. It also reported 42 people, including two children and six women arrested by Kurdish forces, 32 arrested by the Islamic State group, including three children, while the Sham Liberation Organisation had arrested 19 people, including two children.

The report called on the UN Security Council to implement resolutions that aimed to put a stop to enforced disappearances. 

The Human Rights Network also stressed the need to release women and children and to stop taking family members hostage to use as bargaining tools. The report emphasised that the issue of detainees must take prominent in the next round of peace talks in Geneva. 

Even before the crisis began in 2011, Syrian authorities followed a policy of forcibly disappearing people for peaceful political opposition, critical reporting, and human rights activism. The use of enforced disappearances dramatically escalated since the uprising.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), 75,000 people have been subjected to enforced disappearance by the Syrian regime since 2011.