On International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances, More Than 112,000 Civilians in Syria Forcibly Disappeared

The Syrian Network for Human Rights has reported alarming statistics concerning enforced disappearances in Syria, according to Zaman al-Wasl.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights has reported alarming statistics concerning enforced disappearances in Syria, shedding light on the dire situation. According to their twelfth annual report, issued on August 30 to commemorate the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the crisis persists.

Since March 2011, a staggering 112,713 individuals, among them 3,105 children and 6,698 women, have been subjected to enforced disappearance in Syria. Tragically, the report reveals that the problem has not abated, with at least 155,604 people, including 5,213 children and 10,176 women, currently enduring arrest, detention, or enforced disappearance as of August 2023.

Diplomatic Developments Come to Halt: Syria Under Pressure Again

The responsibility for these cases is spread across various parties involved in the conflict, with the Syrian regime being identified as a major perpetrator. Of the total, 135,638 individuals, including 3,693 children and 8,478 women, are attributed to the regime. Additionally, ISIS has caused the disappearance of 8,684 individuals, 319 of whom are children, and 255 are women. Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), on the other hand, is responsible for 2,514 cases, involving 46 children and 45 women.

Even factions associated with armed opposition and national army groups have been implicated, contributing to the distressing numbers. The report cites that at least 4,064 individuals, including 364 children and 874 women, are in detention or have disappeared under their control. Meanwhile, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been linked to the enforced disappearance of 4,704 people, including 791 children and 524 women.

The report also delves into the temporal and geographic distribution of these disappearances. The initial years of the democratic movement, especially 2012, witnessed the highest surge in enforced disappearances. Moreover, the geographical focus reveals that the governorate of Damascus countryside has been the epicentre of these disappearances, followed by Aleppo, Damascus, and Deir-ez-Zor.

The Syrian regime’s disturbing tactic of registering forcibly disappeared individuals as deceased through civil registry departments is highlighted in the report. Since 2018, they have reported at least 1,609 cases of individuals who were forcibly disappeared as deceased, without disclosing the cause of death or providing their families with closure. This reprehensible practice involves various levels of Syrian state institutions, including the interior and justice ministries, and has manipulated civil registry data.

In conclusion, the Syrian Network for Human Rights’ report underscores the persistent crisis of enforced disappearances in Syria, revealing the grim reality faced by countless individuals and their families. It underscores the urgency for global attention and action to address this grave violation of human rights.


This article was translated and 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.


Recommend article

Sender's Name:
Sender's Email:
Receiver's Name:
Receiver's Email: