29 Aug 2023

Join Us in the Fight for Justice on the International Day of the Disappeared

We, the Free Syria’s Disappeared coalition, are a group of survivors of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance, families of Syria's disappeared, and human rights activists. We come together as a formidable global movement, bound by a shared mission: to demand freedom and safety for all Syria's detainees and forcibly disappeared. On the upcoming occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared (August 30, 2023), we plan to raise our voices and amplify our message through a unified act of solidarity to be shared on our social media platforms. 

Our group’s message is twofold:

1-) We stand resolute against the normalization of relations with the Assad regime in Syria. This normalization ignores the unspeakable atrocities committed by the regime, including arbitrary detention, torture, and enforced disappearance. World leaders must not turn a blind eye to the ongoing suffering of the Syrian people; instead, they should prioritize justice and accountability for these grave crimes.

2-) In solidarity with the families and friends of detainees and forcibly disappeared in Syria, we seek to shed light on the relentless agony they endure every day. The disappeared are not merely statistics; they are beloved sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. We call for a recognition of the profound harm inflicted on their families, as they live in a perpetual state of uncertainty and anguish.

Our demands includes:

1-) The immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained or disappeared, languishing in Assad's detention centers. Their freedom is not negotiable, and their voices must be heard.

2-) Urgent investigations into crimes against humanity in Syria, encompassing detention, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence. Public Prosecutors across Europe, the US, and other regions must shoulder their responsibility in seeking justice for the victims and holding the perpetrators accountable.

3-) We earnestly call for robust international backing of the international mechanism for missing persons in Syria, with the full endorsement of governmental bodies, UN officials, and civil society. The urgent task of identifying and locating the disappeared individuals is an indispensable stride towards fostering closure and healing for their families. We urge active participation, substantial funding, and unwavering support to ensure the effective implementation of this mechanism.

4-) We call for robust legal and financial aid to empower former detainees in pursuing cases against their tormentors. Justice must prevail, offering those who have suffered greatly the chance to seek redress.

How can you support us?

By joining our Call to Action detailed below. Your participation will help raise awareness of our cause and that of many other survivors and families of forcibly disappeared individuals across different geographies. You help consolidate and expand our movement by echoing our message and showing solidarity with survivors and families. 

Call to Action:

📷 Post a picture or story, tagging us @freesyriasdisappeared, or send us the picture as a direct message on Instagram holding a placard/paper/cardboard with a message of solidarity with the forcibly disappeared and their families and/or condemning impunity and normalization with the Assad regime. (There is no need to show your face in the image should you have security reasons or for any other reason.)

📣 Please include some of these hashtags on the a placard/paper/cardboard to help spread a unified message: #FreeSyriasDisappeared #NoNormalizationWithAssad  

On the International Day of the Disappeared, we plan to share the images on our social media platforms to promote our urgent messages and strengthen our solidarity movement. 

With the growing threat of authoritarian rule across the globe, it is critical that we stand united against impunity and in demand of justice and accountability. When we mobilize together, we amplify each other’s voices, shed light on shared suffering, and co-create a future where freedom, dignity, and equity prevail. 

We thank you in advance for taking the time and extending your support and compassion on this important occasion. 

In solidarity,

Free Syria’s Disappeared