The intelligence services of Bashar al-Assad sent the Civil Registry Department lists of hundreds of detainees who were martyred under torture to confirm their deaths, while the fate of tens of thousands of others remains unknown.
On Thursday, the Syrian Committee for Detainees published the information on its official Facebook page, although it said that the lists cited heart attacks as the cause of death.
Since the beginning of the revolution in 2011, the Assad regime has filled its secret and known prisons with tens of thousands of detainees opposed to its rule, while arrests continue to this day.
The regime keeps all information about its prisons completely secret and prevents human rights organizations from entering or inquiring about the conditions of detainees, many of whom were killed as a result of torture.
Before the regime handed over the bodies of some of the detainees, it forced families to sign documents confirming that they died of heart attacks despite the signs that they have been subjected to torture. The regime also threatened families who talk about what their children have been subjected to while in detention.
Some 55,000 photographs of 11,000 detainees who died while being tortured in Assad prisons have been documented. The photos were published in 2015 after “Caesar,” the pseudonym of a Syrian photographer who worked in the military police documentation center, smuggled them abroad.
Several Syrian human rights organizations and a group of relatives of the detainees last week established last week an association called the Caesar Families Association.
In its founding statement, the association said that its objectives were “the proper handover of the remains of the victims, the proper burial of the dead, respecting human dignity and providing psychological, moral and legal support for the families of the victims, ensuring the rights and memories of the victims and their families, contributing to the release of the detainees, and revealing the fate of the missing.”
The Association also seeks to ensure the establishment a special tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.