Report Documents Execution of 7,872 People by Syrian Regime Through Field Courts

The SNHR report extensively documented the execution of 7,872 individuals, including 114 children and 26 women, according to Sawt al-Asima.

On Tuesday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) released a report detailing the Syrian regime’s execution of thousands of its opponents through rulings issued by the field court, which was revoked by Bashar al-Assad earlier this month.

The report extensively documented the execution of 7,872 individuals, including 114 children and 26 women, as a result of sentences handed down by military field courts spanning from March 2011 to August 2023.

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SNHR strongly condemned the military field courts, categorizing them as one of the most heinous forms of exceptional criminal courts ever established in Syria. This designation stems from two primary factors. First, their legal system was dysfunctional and marred by a dismal reputation as a key instrument employed by the Syrian regime to perpetrate enforced disappearances, systematically target opponents, activists, and civilians (including children and women), and subject them to draconian rulings. Second, the severity of the data contained in SNHR’s database underscores the staggering scale of the problem. The sheer volume of victims subjected to these courts indicates a clear organizational connection between enforced disappearances and military field courts.

SNHR further explained that the vast number of individuals forcibly disappeared by the Syrian regime—surpassing 96,000—were primarily subjected to trials in these courts. These enforced disappearances were not arbitrary but rather carried out through deliberate decisions and organized directives within a tightly controlled security and military framework.

SNHR viewed the discontinuation of military field courts as part of the Syrian regime’s strategy to obfuscate and evade accountability for enforced disappearances. This strategy involves issuing fraudulent amnesty decrees, falsifying records of forcibly disappeared individuals in civil registries, and potentially other measures planned for the future.

The report meticulously documented a minimum of 14,843 death sentences handed down by military field courts in Syria from March 2011 to August 2023. Of these, at least 6,971 were commuted to temporary imprisonment or life imprisonment with hard labour. The majority of these individuals remain detained, while the remaining 7,872 were executed.

Importantly, the bodies of those executed were not returned to their families, and their loved ones were not officially informed of their fate. SNHR emphasized that these figures represent the bare minimum of actual executions perpetrated against detainees and forcibly disappeared individuals held within the Syrian regime’s detention centers.


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.


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