In a report released today, it has been revealed that Syria has witnessed an alarming surge in arbitrary arrests and detentions. The report, compiled by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), sheds light on the distressing reality faced by Syrian citizens, especially those who dare to express their dissenting opinions against the ruling authorities.
According to the report, a staggering 193 arbitrary arrests and detentions were documented in October 2023 alone, including 13 children and four women. These figures underscore the widespread repression and suppression of freedom of expression in Syria, as individuals are targeted solely for their activity against the ruling authorities.
The SNHR, which has been documenting detainees’ cases since 2011, has faced numerous challenges in its daily process of gathering information. One significant obstacle is the reluctance of victims’ families to cooperate, fearing further danger for their loved ones and themselves. It is not uncommon for families to negotiate with security forces who exploit their desperation by demanding exorbitant cash payments as ransoms for their loved ones’ release.
Another revelation in the report is the failure of the international community and the UN to pressure the Syrian regime into securing the release of even a single individual. This lack of action has only reinforced the belief among Syrians that cooperating in the documentation process is futile.
The responsibility for these illegal detentions primarily lies with the Syrian regime, who continue to target and persecute Syrian citizens in areas under their control. Despite constitutional guarantees and international laws protecting the rights to political dissent and freedom of expression, Syrian citizens live in constant fear. The report emphasizes that no one is safe from arrest, as these detentions are carried out without any legal grounds or independent oversight.