November 2022 | SOHR documents nearly 325 arrests and kidnappings across Syria
SOHR calls for immediate release of detainees and disclosing the fate of kidnapped people
While more voices call for revealing the fate of the detainees and kidnapped people across Syria, arbitrary arrests and kidnaps continue amid “timid efforts” by international bodies, like the United Nations and human rights organisations concerned with the Syrian issue.
As a human rights organisation, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) monitored and tracked kidnappings and arrests across Syria in the past month. In November 2022, SOHR documented the kidnapping of 11 people, including a woman and three children, and the arbitrary arrest of 314 people.
–Areas under the control of Ankara-backed factions
221 people were arrested on different charges, the most prominent of which were “communication with the Kurdish forces, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Autonomous Administration, and ISIS cells.” Here is a breakdown of these arrests:
- “Olive Branch” area: 19 people.
- “Peace Spring” area: 185 people.
- “Euphrates Shield” area: 17 people.
–Areas under the Syrian regime control
62 people were arrested on different charges, the most prominent of which are “evading the mandatory and reserve conscription in the regime army,” “communicating with foreign bodies,” and “cybercrimes.” They are distributed regionally as follows:
- Eight persons in Rif Dimashq.
- 13 people in Aleppo.
- 20 people in Homs.
- 11 people in Daraa.
- Ten person in Deir Ezzor.
Meanwhile, SOHR documented the death of 12 men under torture in the regime prisons and detention centres in November 2022.
–Areas under the control of the Autonomous Administration
28 people were arrested on different charges.
–Areas under the control of Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham and opposition factions
–Areas under control of Ankara-backed factions: Five persons, including a woman, were kidnapped by gunmen, some of whom operating under the banner of the “National Army” factions; they are as follows:
- “Euphrates Shield” area: Three person, including a woman.
- “Olive Branch” area: Two persons.
–Areas under regime control: Three persons, including a child.
–Areas under the control of the Autonomous Administration: Three people, including two children.
–Areas under the control of Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham and opposition factions: No kidnappings were reported in November 2022.
SOHR has verified the cases of arrests and kidnaps mentioned in this report and documented most of the names. SOHR also confidently estimates that the total number of kidnapped people is much higher. However, some victims’ families preferred to keep the identities of their sons secret, fearing persecution and punishment by the bodies that had arrested and kidnapped them.
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.