Ibrahim Walid Kezlou, a taxi driver from Izaz city in northern rural Aleppo governorate, was arrested in late November 2023 by Syrian National Army (SNA) personnel in Talil al-Sham village in northern rural Aleppo governorate near the Syrian-Turkish borders over accusations that he had been transporting passengers to the Syrian-Turkish border from where they were crossing irregularly into Türkiye.
Ibrahim’s arrest was carried out without any judicial warrant being presented, and he was taken to a detention center in Izaz city operated by the SNA’s Military Police. Rather than receiving a fair trial, he was subjected to detention and torture.
On January 28, 2024, Ibrahim’s family was notified by an SNA member that he had died at the National Hospital in Izaz city. Upon arriving in the hospital, his family received a medical report stating that he had died before his arrival there, before taking his body for burial. The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) can confirm that Ibrahim was in good health at the time of his arrest, indicating a strong probability that he died due to torture and medical negligence in an SNA’s Military Police detention center in Izaz city.
International law strictly prohibits torture and all other forms of cruel, degrading, or inhumane torture. The prohibition of torture is a customary rule that cannot be disputed or balanced against other rights or values, even in times of emergency. Violating this rule is a crime according to international criminal law. Those who issued the orders for or assisted in carrying out torture are criminally liable for their actions.
SNHR condemns all abduction and torture practices by personnel from the SNA, as by all other forces. We call for the immediate launch of an independent investigation into all incidents of arrest and torture that have taken place, particularly this latest barbaric incident. We also call for all of those involved in such crimes to be held accountable, from the officials issuing the orders to the individuals who carried them out and colluded in the process. The findings of these investigations and accountability processes must be made public to the Syrian people. All of those involved in arrest and torture practices must be exposed, while the survivors and victims’ families must be compensated for the grave physical, psychological and emotional trauma inflicted on them. The policies of the Syrian regime and Russia in denying the existence of these atrocities must be avoided, with this strategy leading to a situation in which no security personnel or ‘shabiha’ have been held accountable for their crimes for over a decade.