On the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared, I would like to recall the fate of tens of thousands of people in Syria. Since March 2011, Syrian security forces have had countless people arbitrarily arrested, imprisoned, disappeared, and many killed. Armed groups have also forcibly disappeared people in Syria.
Among the disappeared are numerous human rights activists, including Razan Zeitouneh. In 2011, she was awarded the European Parliament´s Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought. In December 2013, an armed group reportedly abducted Razan Zeitouneh, her husband Wael Hamada, and two other activists, from the office of the Violence Documentation Centre in Duma, near Damascus. Their fate remains unknown today.
We must all act to ensure the release of illegally held detainees in Syria. The fate of all disappeared has to be made public and those responsible for human rights violations in Syria must be held to account.
Today, the Beirut office of Amnesty International is opening an exhibition on the disappeared in Syria, with the title:
"Tens of Thousands"
*The International Day of the Disappeared is on 30 August 2017.