Prolonged Enforced Disappearance and then Torture to Death: The Fate of the Peaceful Political Activist Yahya Sharbaji

Yahya Sharbaji

SNHR has learned that Yahya Sharbaji’s family was shocked to find out that Yahya is dead as they were going through the process of obtaining a family statement from the civil registry department in Darayya city, Damascus suburbs governorate. Yahya’s family were informed by an employee that he is recorded as dead in the civil record. The family was surprised that his dead date was listed as January 15, 2013 in civil records, with no details on place or cause of death. SNHR, who learned of Yahya’s death through contacting his family, managed to acquire a copy of the family statement that we have stored in our records. As with tens of thousands of Syrian families, Yahya’s family was unable to take any legal action to find out the cause of death or even receiving his dead body as the Syrian regime strictly refuses to hand over dead bodies. SNHR has no knowledge of the fate of the hundreds of thousands of dead bodies or where they are being kept.
Yahya’s family told SNHR that Air Force Intelligence officers arrested Yahya’s brother Mohammad, whose family learned of his death the same way they learned of Yahya’s through the civil registry department. However, Mohammad died on December 13, 2013. According to Yahya’s family, the Air Force Intelligence forced Mohammad to call Yahya and tell him that he is injured in Sehnaya area, Damascus suburbs governorate, and that he has to come to his aid. As soon as Yahya arrived at the location described by his brother, he found out that he has been ambushed as the Air Force Intelligence arrested him along with the activist Ghiath Matar who was with him. This was on September 6, 2011. While Ghiath Matar was killed shortly after his arrest and his dead body was delivered to his family with signs of barbarian torture on it only four days later, Yahya’s fate has been unknown ever since.

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