The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Ongoing security iron grip | SOHR renews calls for protecting freedom of expression in regime-held areas and immediate release of detainees

As the fate of tens of thousands of detainees in Bashar Al-Assad’s prisons remains unknown, despite demands to disclose their fate, regime security services continue their oppression in the areas under the regime’s control across Syria.


Neither loyalists nor opponents could evade the oppressive security iron fist of the Syrian regime, as many were arrested for ready-made accusations to stifle voices of people and prevent them from expressing their personal opinions regarding the disastrous situation in Syria. Such oppressive practices, the latest of which was the attempted arrest of a pro-regime journalist “Kenan Waqqaf,” are blatant and clear violations of human rights.


We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), renew our demand to defend the freedom of public expression of all Syrian civilians, including journalists, and we call for immediate release of tens of thousands of detainees held in the prisons of the Bashar Al-Assad regime.


SOHR attaches the highest importance to the issue of detainees and always highlights their and their families’ plight and sufferings. SOHR also warns against using “terrorism” as an excuse to arrest politicians and human rights activists, using laws of counter-terrorism to justify arbitrary arrests.


SOHR calls upon the international community to pay visits to the prisons of Bashar al-Assad’s regime to be aware of the real situation of the detainees and attempt to reveal the fate of those who have forcibly disappeared and killed in these prisons and detention centers.


As a human rights organisation, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has continued monitoring and tracking the issue of arrests in regime-controlled areas, where we have been able to document the arrest of 2,982 people in 2021. Most of these people were arrested for “passing the date of joining the mandatory and reserve service in the ranks of regime army or communicating with foreign bodies.” Many of these detainees were released after their relatives had paid money/levies, while nearly 514 remained imprisoned.


SOHR also has documented the death of 55 persons, including a woman in the regime security detentions centres in 2021 while the killing of detainees continues the regime prisons “human slaughterhouses.”