last seen

Saydnaya prison

age, status



Islam Dabbas is a student and political activist from Daraya. At the time of his arrest on 22 July 2011, he was organizing and leading peaceful protests in his neighbourhood. According to Islam’s cousin, who was arrested with him and released two months later, he and Islam were taken from their neighbourhood by members of Air Force Intelligence. Islam was transferred from a branch of Air Force Intelligence to Saydnaya prison several months later. His family was able to visit him twice at Saydnaya, in June and November 2012. Since their last visit, Islam’s family have made several requests to the authorities at Saydnaya to visit him again. The authorities responded on more than one occasion that Islam is no longer in their custody and they have no knowledge of his whereabouts. Before his arrest, Islam was an architecture student. A close relative of Islam describes him as bright, good-humoured and always calm under pressure. “He would tell me about his studies and explain to me what was happening at the protests. We used to talk for hours,” he said. Islam’s father, who was also active in peaceful demonstrations in Daraya, was arrested 20 days before Islam and is now serving a 15-year sentence at Adra for “inciting terrorism”. Abdul Rahman explained how his family had been affected by these events: “The family was destroyed. You have to understand – Islam disappeared just after my father was arrested. Suddenly our home lost two vibrant people. Our house felt empty. My mother stopped cooking. It just stopped feeling like a home.”

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