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Where Are Syria's Disappeared?

Islam Dabbas, a student activist from Daraya, was arbitrarily detained by the Syrian government for organizing a peaceful protest in July 2011. While in Saydnaya military prison, his family were only able to see him twice. After that, the prison authorities said he was no longer in prison and they didn’t know where he was. Islam was ‘disappeared’, along with thousands of others in Syria. His fate remained unknown for years. That was until July 2018, when the government told his family that Islam was dead. They still haven’t been given any information about the cause of his death or received his remains.

Act now to help Islam’s family know what exactly happened to their son, and obtain his body for proper burial.

Like Islam’s family, hundreds of Syrian families found out about the death of their missing loved ones through public records updated by the government, which confirmed the deaths of forcibly disappeared people in Syria’s notorious prisons.

After months and years of waiting, these families have the right to know what happened to their loved ones. They have the right to say goodbye and to end the unbearable cycle of mourning.

Right now, more than 82,000 Syrian disappeared individuals are still missing. Many of them continue to fight for their lives every single day, hoping that someone out there is taking action to bring them back to their families. Now is the time to act.

We must urge Russia, Turkey and Iran – the three most influential countries over Syria now – to pressure the Syrian government and armed opposition groups to disclose the fate and whereabouts of the disappeared and missing.

The Syrian government must immediately return the remains of the victims to their families to allow for proper burials and funeral rites, and inform their relatives of the circumstances of the enforced disappearances and deaths of their loved ones.