The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR exclusive | Families of detainees in regime prisons fall victims to fraud and blackmail by brokers and officers

The sufferings of families of detainees in regime prisons continues, where they are not able to disclose the fate and whereabouts of their children. However, regime officers and brokers affiliated and collaborating with those officers exploit the sufferings of the detainees’ families, where they take large bribes in return for disclosing their whereabouts and health conditions. In most cases, information provided by regime officers is true, where the officers seek to blackmail and defraud the families and lure them to pay larger sums of money in return for more information.

 

Speaking to SOHR, a man known by his initials as A. A. from Saraqeb city in Idlib countryside, whose only son is detained in Saydnaya notorious prison, said “I was defrauded by a lawyer and a regime officer who took 700 USD from me in return for disclose the fate of my son and helping him to set him free. After communications for a long time with the lawyer who promised to help me, I transferred 700 USD as a down payment. After having received the money, the lawyer closed his phone and defrauded me, and my son remains in the prison.”

 

A woman known as A. M. from west Idlib countryside told SOHR that she also fell victim to a fraud by a regime soldier from Al-Qardaha. The woman said that she sold all her properties and borrowed money from her relatives to send all the money to the officer who started to blackmail her and threatened to execute her detained husband, if she stopped sending him money. The woman said that she lost all of her properties like many others who fell victims to fraud and blackmail.

 

Hundreds of thousands of detainees are struggling with tragic situation in regime prisons, as well as torturing and intentional neglect by regime officers who exploit their situation and blackmail their families to collect ransoms.

 

On June 2, SOHR sources reported that a family from Al-Qaseer in Homs countryside received news that their arrested son died in Saidaniyah Prison, where he was brutally tortured after being arrested on November 20, 2011, where his family hadn’t been able to know his fate.

 

According to SOHR statistics, the number of people who have died under torture in regime prisons and security centres since early 2024 has reached 28.