The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Video statement | Individuals and activists survived from Lebanese prisons announce boycott of the conference of “the week of detainees and torture victims”

Individuals and activists, who survived Lebanese prison, after having been arrested by the Lebanese authorities for opposing the Syrian regime during the Syrian Revolution, appeared in a video footage circulated on social media, in which they announced boycott of the conference of “the week of detainees and torture victims in Syrian prisons” which will be held in Al-Suwaidaa, north Syria, Istanbul, Berlin and Brussels from June 22 to June 30, 2024.


The ex-prisoners and activists also issued a written statement explaining the reasons behind their boycott of the conference, which included the fact that the high expenses of organizing the events of the conference could secure support for many prisoners through providing medical treatment for them or paying financial guarantees to set some prisoners free.


The activists considered the conference as “a copy of earlier festivals held for giving speeches calling for the cause of detainees,” at a time when the holders of those festivals exerted no efforts to document the data of detainees, track their cause or cooperate with international organisations and relevant authorities. In addition, such conferences can achieve their goals by depending on video conferences using “Zoom” or “Google Meet,” instead of the high costs of holding a series of conferences in different countries.


The activists also accused the organisations participating in the conference of not communicating with the families of detainees or the survivors who have been struggling to earn their living and integrate into society and their families once again.


They also stated that the activities of many organisations concerned with the affairs of detainees have aimed at financial gains and holding parties for widening their ties with general characters.


Those organisations held festivals for giving speeches which previously revived our hope. However, exploiting the cause of detainees by some individuals for financial gains made us lose faith in the most of organisations and individuals addressing this highly-sensitive cause, as the activists described.


The statement added “the organisations funding or participated in the conference do not respond calls by detainees, although this is the heart of their purview. We did not touch any outcomes of alleged efforts exerted by the participating organisations regarding stopping handing over political detainees held in Lebanese prisons to the Syrian regime.”