The Syrian Network for Human Rights released its monthly report on human rights violations and arrests in Syria for the month of February.
At least 203 arbitrary arrests/detentions, including 13 children, were documented in February 2022, the report said. It noted that the Syrian regime targets and arrests returning refugees and citizen journalists.
The 27-page report showed that most arrests in Syria take place without a warrant when the victim passes through a checkpoint or during raids. Security forces of the four main intelligence services are often responsible for arrests away from the judiciary. The detainee is tortured from the very first moment of his arrest and is denied contact with his family or lawyer. The authorities also deny carrying out arbitrary arrests and most of the detainees are forcibly disappeared.
The report added that the death toll from torture recorded in February has increased, and attributed this to the fact that the Syrian regime informed 56 families, in February, from the town of Deir al-Asafir that their arrested relative had died. They were informed through the Civil Registry Department.
The report mentioned the phenomenon of the Syrian regime informing the families of the detainees that their children had died. It pointed out that this phenomenon is a condemnation of the Syrian regime, which arrested these people, and then they forcibly disappeared, and now it informs the relatives of their deaths.
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The report believed that the cause of their deaths was the lack of care and torture. Records of the forcible disappeared in the Syrian Network for Human Rights report show that they had been arrested in 2018 and had died under torture in Sednaya military prison.
On the other hand, the report recorded the continuation of the SDF policy of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance in February. It monitored mass raids and detentions targeting civilians under the pretext of fighting ISIS cells, some of which were supported by helicopters belonging to the International Coalition Forces.
According to the report, February witnessed detentions carried out by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) against civilians, for expressing their critical views of the authority’s management policy in its areas of control. Arbitrary detentions were carried out in the form of raids, break-ins, breakage, and removal of entrance doors, abductions from roads, or at temporary checkpoints. The report also recorded the detention of civilians by HTS members for participating in popular protests against them, after a woman was shot in the head by an HTS member.
For its part, the armed opposition/national army carried out arbitrary detentions and kidnappings, most of which occurred collectively, targeting people from areas of Syrian regime control. The report also monitored detentions carried out against ethnic backgrounds and concentrated in areas controlled by the armed opposition/national army in the Aleppo governorate. Most of these detentions occurred without judicial authorization, without the participation of the police – which is the administrative body authorized to arrest and stop citizens through the judiciary– and without clear charges.
In February, the report recorded at least 203 arbitrary arrests/detentions, including 13 children and 11 women, 126 of whom had been forcibly disappeared. Among these arrests, 96 cases, including four children and six women arrested by Syrian regime forces. While 47 of them, 9 children and 2 women were arrested by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The report recorded 29 cases, including 3 women, arrested by all armed opposition factions/national army, and 31 cases arrested by HTS.
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.