BEIRUT

Middle East

Almost 3,000 missing in Syria crackdown: NGO

NICOSIA: Almost 3,000 people have gone missing in Syria since the start of anti-regime protests more than four months ago, the Avaaz non-governmental organization said in a statement Thursday.

“Avaaz has today revealed the identities of 2,918 Syrians who have been arrested by Syrian security forces and whose whereabouts are now unknown,” the organization said in statement received by AFP in Nicosia.

It said it was launching a campaign Thursday “to call for the release of the nearly 3,000 Syrians who have been forcibly ‘disappeared’ since the peaceful uprising began on March 15th of this year.”

“The in-depth survey conducted by Avaaz estimates that one person is disappearing every hour.

“In the past week alone there have been more than 1,000 arrests and the number of enforced disappearances has been rapidly rising on a daily basis, as the regime steps up its efforts to repress dissent in the build-up to Ramadan,” the statement said.

According to the organization’s executive director, Ricken Patel, “hour by hour, peaceful protesters are plucked from crowds by Syria’s infamously brutal security forces, never to be seen again.”

Avaaz said 1,634 people have died in the crackdown, 26,000 have been arrested, of whom 12,617 are still in detention.

The group said it is establishing a website with photos and brief descriptions of those who have disappeared which would be regularly updated.

It added it has been working in collaboration with two credible Syrian human rights organisations to collect the names and photos of each disappeared case “to ensure the list of names is wholly verified.”

 
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