HomeSpecial RapporteursEnforced DisappearancesBrothers Khalil & Ahmad Awad Have been Forcibly Disappeared Since 2012

Brothers Khalil & Ahmad Awad Have been Forcibly Disappeared Since 2012

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The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) has briefed the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on the case of the two brothers Ahmad and Khalil Mahmoud Awad.

Khalil Mahmoud Awad, born in 1979, was working as a cargo truck driver before his arrest, while his brother, Ahmad Mahmoud Awad, born in 1991, was working in floor paneling. The two siblings are originally from Harasta city in Eastern Ghouta in eastern Rural Damascus ‘Rif Dimshaq’ governorate. Ahmad and Khalil were arrested in 2012 by Syrian regime forces in a raid on their home beside the Ammar bin Yasser Mosque in al-Dawwar neighborhood to the west of the highway in Harasta city. During the arrest, regime forces shot Ahmad in the chest, injuring him. The brothers were taken together to an undisclosed location, and have been forcibly disappeared ever since, with their fate remaining unknown to SNHR as well as to 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 cases of Khalil & Ahmad.

Syrian regime authorities have denied any connection with the enforced disappearance of Khalil & Ahmad Mahmoud Awad. 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 loved ones’ whereabouts and fate, as has happened in numerous other 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 on 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 Abdul Karim Ismail Shams al-Din and his sons 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 have been subjected to and have possibly died as a result of torture, with the number of citizens forcibly disappeared by the regime continuing to grow.

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