143 Arbitrary Arrests in January, Including Children: Syrian Network

The SNHR recorded 143 arbitrary arrests by the various warring parties of the Syrian conflict, pointing out extreme restrictions on freedom of expression, according to Zaman al-Wasl.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) announced in its latest report, released today, that it documented at least 143 cases of arbitrary arrests/ detentions in January 2022, including two children, noting that further restrictions on freedom of expression affect even the slightest criticism of the Syrian regime’s corruption.

The 19-page report explains that most of the arrests in Syria are carried out without any judicial warrant while the victims are passing through checkpoints or during raids, with the security forces of the regime’s four main intelligence services often responsible for extra-judicial detentions.

Every detainee is tortured from the very first moment of his or her arrest and denied any opportunity to contact his or her family or to have access to a lawyer. The authorities also flatly deny the arbitrary arrests they have carried out and most of the detainees are subsequently categorized as forcibly disappeared.

This report outlines the record number of arbitrary arrests/detentions recorded in January 2022 by the parties to the conflict and the controlling forces in Syria. The report does not include those kidnappings and abductions in which the report was unable to identify the responsible party. The report also documents arbitrary arrests that subsequently turned into enforced disappearances.

It adds that among the arrests and detentions documented by SNHR in January were those by Syrian regime forces that continued in January to persecute and arrest individuals who had concluded settlements of their security status with the Syrian regime.

The report also recorded arrests targeting civilians, in connection with their criticism of the deteriorating living conditions in the regime-held areas.

The report also documents arrests targeting a number of returning civilians, all refugees and IDPs, after they returned to their original areas, now back under the control of Syrian regime forces; these were concentrated in Hama and Aleppo.

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The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued enforcing the group’s policies of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance in January. The report records campaigns of mass raids and arrests carried out by SDF personnel targeting civilians on the pretext of fighting ISIS cells.

As for Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), the report records in January, detaining of civilians who criticized it.

These detentions were carried out arbitrarily in the form of raids in which HTS members stormed their victims’ homes, often breaking down the doors, or by abducting their victims while they were traveling or passing through temporary checkpoints, or through issuing summons for interrogation by the Ministry of Justice of the HTS’ Salvation Government.

As the report reveals, all Armed Opposition factions/ Syrian National Army also continued carrying out arbitrary arrests and kidnappings in January, most of which were carried out on a mass scale, targeting individuals coming from areas controlled by the Syrian regime.

The report documents at least 143 cases of arbitrary arrest/ detention in January 2022, including two children, with 116 of these cases subsequently categorized as cases of enforced disappearance, all at the hands of the parties to the conflict and the controlling forces in Syria.

81 of these were carried out at the hands of Syrian regime forces, while the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces detained 37 individuals, including two children. The report also notes that all Armed Opposition factions/ Syrian National Army detained 17 individuals, while Hay’at Tahrir al Sham detained eight individuals.


This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.


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