More than 70 families gathered in the opposition-held Syrian town of Azaz on Friday to highlight the plight of their loved ones missing or detained in the government’s feared jail system.
The families called on the international community to handle the file, considered one of the most complicated in the Syrian conflict.
Since war broke out in Syria in 2011, nearly one million people have been detained in the network of prisons and camps run by the various security services, AFP reported.
It said of those, around 105,000 have died in custody, while others have been released, but tens of thousands remain unaccounted for, according to figures released by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Lama Andani said it has been nine years since her husband was arrested. For 18 months, she had received some updates indirectly, but then nothing.
“I dream of seeing my husband… and of knowing what happened to him,” she said, as she joined others in posting messages in a square in Azaz.
On a wall, where Syrian artist Aziz Asmar drew a mural with the inscription “The detainees are our open wound,” they posted messages to receive information about their loved ones.
In 2013, a military defector known as “Caesar” smuggled more than 50,000 photographs out of Syria, many of them documenting the deaths of prisoners in detention centers or military hospitals.
The name went on to be used in the title of U.S. legislation that provides for economic sanctions against Syria.
And despite UN efforts, no progress has been achieved on establishing the fate of missing in the Syrian jails.
Occasionally, exchanges of detainees are held between opposition factions and the regime under the auspices of Turkey and Russia, but they are not enough to end the suffering of the families.
Damascus refuses to engage the UN in the process of revealing the fate of the missing.
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.