The Hague – The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) has briefed the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on the case of the citizens, ‘Ahmad Mohammad Eid’ and his cousin ‘Abdul Ghafour Ahmad Eid, born in 1980 and 1994 respectively, both from Aleppo city. Ahmad was working as an electronics repairman at the time of his arrest, while Abdul Ghafour was a vendor. They were arrested on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, by personnel from the Syrian regime’s Military Intelligence Directorate who raided the home of a family member in al-Ashrafiya neighborhood, Aleppo city, and took them to the Military Intelligence branch in Aleppo city. They have been classified as forcibly disappeared ever since, as their fate remains unknown to SNHR as well as their family.
The SNHR has also briefed the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, as well as briefing the UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, specifically in regard to the two cases of citizen ‘Ahmad Mohammad Eid’ and his cousin citizen ‘Abdul Ghafour Ahmad Eid’.
Syrian authorities have denied any connection with the enforced disappearance of the citizens ‘Ahmad Mohammad Eid’ and his cousin ‘Abdul Ghafour Ahmad Eid’. SNHR has been unable to determine their fate, as have their family members, who fear that they may be arrested and tortured by regime personnel themselves if they continue to ask about their whereabouts and fate, as has happened in numerous previous cases.
SNHR has called on the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearance, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, as well as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, to intervene and to demand that Syrian authorities release them immediately, as well as to secure the release of thousands of other forcibly disappeared citizens whose whereabouts and current conditions must also be revealed.
Although the Syrian government is not a party to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, it is indisputably a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Arab Charter on Human Rights. Enforced disappearance constitutes a violation of both instruments.
SNHR also confirms that there are well-founded fears that many of those forcibly disappeared by the Syrian regime since 2011 may have been subjected to torture and possibly have died due to torture, with the number of citizens forcibly disappeared by the regime continuing to grow.