Tightened security grip | Regime forces arrest youths, including university students, in eastern Ghouta • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Tightened security grip | Regime forces arrest youths, including university students, in eastern Ghouta

Rif Dimashq province: SOHR sources have reported that regime “Military Intelligence Branch” has carried out a raid on some homes during the past days in Jisreen town in eastern Ghouta, arresting four young men, including two students at Damascus University.

According to Syrian Observatory sources, members of “military security” patrols have beaten the youths severely in plain sight of people.

The youths have been arrested on charges of” filming military checkpoints in Eastern Ghouta for outside parties.”

Furthermore, regime forces have placed five new barricades and checkpoints in Jisreen town, telling the residents that these new checkpoints are temporary ones.

However, regime forces are tightening their security grip, checking civilians’ identity cards and careful searching of their cars.

On February 22, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) obtained new details and information about the file of “detention and torture in the regime’s prisons,” concerning persons arrested since the regime took control of Eastern Ghouta under “Russian-Turkish” alignments.

Syrian Observatory sources had confirmed the fate of more than 165 detainees who are from Eastern Ghouta, from the most notable villages (Deir Al-Asafier – Zebdin – Hatita Al-turkman), is unknown until the moment.

Those detainees, mostly from shelters for displaced persons in Al-Deiwer area and schools in Adra area.

This development came a day after the regime security services delivered death certificates of 38 prisoners, including nine members of one family, who died under torture in their prison after being arrested following the regime took over eastern Ghouta in March 2018 to elders of eastern Ghouta in areas in the southern sector of Al-Sharqiya, namely, “Deir Al-Asafir – Zabdin – Hatita Al-Turkman.”

Reliable statistics showed that the number of deaths under torture of eastern Ghouta detainees who were arrested after 2018 in “Saydnaya prison”, regime basements and prisons is much higher than the figure announced and disclosed by the regime. However, the authorities of the Bashar Al-Assad regime are covering them up and will hand over death certificates to their relatives in batches during the coming period.

Although in mid-December 2019, the US Senate passed “Caesar Act” in mid-December 2019 and signed by US President Donald Trump on December 21, 2019 has given many Syrians a glimpse of hope in that the regime would be forced to put an end to the ongoing torture and suffering of the Syrian civilians, SOHR has documented all the 233 deaths under torture in the Syrian regime security prisons. SOHR has refrained from mentioning the names of 73 upon the request of their relatives.

We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), warn against the repercussions of violating and non-complying with international accords signed by Syria, as well as the ongoing indifference by the warring powers in Syria to the issue of detainees and forcibly disappeared. We also appeal to the international community to seriously intensify its efforts to disclose the fate of the detainees and forcibly disappeared people, and identify and hold the perpetrators accountable

SOHR attaches the highest importance to this issue of detainees and always strives to highlight 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.

We also call for the inspection of prisons in the entire Syrian geography, especially in regime-held areas, so that the real issue and conditions of detainees are unveiled. Furthermore, the fate of the missing and detainees who have been killed must be disclosed.

SOHR stresses the need for holding accountable all those who aided and abetted the killing and torturing of Syrian civilians in regime prisons and warns against indifference by the warring powers in Syria to the issue of detainees and forcibly disappearing.

As more people perish in detentions, the number of civilians who have died under torture in regime’s prisons since the beginning of the Syrian revolution rose to 47,578 fatalities, all documented by names: 47,172 men and young men, 399 children under the age of eighteen, and 67 women over the age of eighteen.

Reliable sources have informed the Syrian Observatory that the number of people killed, executed and/or died in regime prisons exceeded 105,000 people. Over 83% of the total death toll were killed and/or died in these prisons between May 2013 and October 2015. SOHR sources have also confirmed that more than 30,000 detainees were killed in the notorious prison of Sednaya alone, while the second largest percentage of killing occurred in the Air Force Intelligence detention facilities or prisons.