Hamas Should Demand That the Syrian Regime Release Palestinian Detainees, Stop Their Torture, and Compensate the Victims
Paris – Syrian Network for Human Rights:
On 19 October 2022, a delegation of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) headed by the movement’s leader, Khalil al-Hayya, visited Syria with the aim of restoring relations with the Syrian regime, and met with the regime’s head, Bashar al-Assad.
As documented in several reports of the United Nations Independent Investigation Commission on Syria, as well as reports of international organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the Syrian regime, guided by its various senior officials, led by Bashar al-Assad, is involved in committing violations against the Syrian people, some of which amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. This is also confirmed by the Syrian Network for Human Rights’ (SNHR) data. Meanwhile, the reports of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also confirm the regime’s involvement in the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people.
The Syrian regime continues to commit egregious violations against the Syrian people, with at least 96,000 Syrian citizens still forcibly disappeared in regime detention centers where those still alive are subjected to brutal methods of torture. The regime has not issued any information on the fate of any of the disappeared nor has it been held to account in any way for these or thousands of other violations it has committed over the past 12 years. The restoration by any party of any form of relations with the Syrian regime is considered to be a form of support for it, an amnesty for the violations that it has committed, and an encouragement to continue with and commit more of them. Therefore, according to international law, such normalization of relations is a form of involvement in and contribution to these crimes.
While the Hamas movement may not care about international law, nor about the horrific violations inflicted on the Syrian people, some of which amount to crimes against humanity, we at SNHR can use this occasion to remind Hamas of the same horrific violations inflicted on Palestinians in Syria, with the Syrian Human Rights Network issuing a report on July 29, 2020 about the most prominent violations against Palestinians in Syria by the Syrian regime and its allies.