Press Release for a Campaign about Release of Detainees

Article  •  Publié sur Souria Houria le 20 janvier 2014

Press Release for a Campaign about Release of Detainees

                                                                                                                        20 January 2014

SYRIA- a Home or a State of Detention!


Zakaria is only a child screaming for his dad’s attention held in an adjacent cell.  His agonizing voice penetrates the walls of the cells reaching other prisoners while echoing his pain from torture. The voice was the only way of communication between father and son to make sure they both are still alive. But, one day Abu Nemere, the prison warden, could no longer tolerate those vocal messages and the voice of the twelve-year-old boy, Zakaria. He walked towards Zakaria wearing his gloves to put a piece of sponge in the boy’s mouth suffocating him and silencing him forever without any hesitation. A prisoner watched in silence the cold-blooded murder of Zakaria through the key hole of his cell door. Since then, Zakaria’s messages to his dad stopped forever the way many voices stopped and disappeared.


Tens of thousands of civilians, including men, women and even children, are arrested, among them peaceful demonstrators, civilian workers, politicians, relief workers, doctors, journalists, lawyers and others. Currently, they are held inside Syria because of the wide arbitrary arrests that have been taking place since three years almost. The documented reports Syrian human rights organisations say that thousands of prisoners have died in government detention centres where detention conditions fall short of minimum humanitarian standards.


Syrian Women’s Network (SWN) is launching a lobbying and advocating campaign named ‘SYRIA- a Home or a State of Detention!’. The campaign addresses all parties participating in Geneva II calling upon them to respect the terms of Geneva I Communique, and to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and all related international conventions. It coincides with the ‘Urgent appeal for the release of prisoners of conscience and all detainees in Syria’ launched by Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and which signed by more than 46 Syrian, regional and international organisations. This is in addition to the intense work of international human rights and humanitarian organisations working on the issue of detainees such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, etc.

The majority of human rights violations, documented by local and international organisations, are committed by government armed forces and pro-government’s militias known as Shabiha. However, some opposition armed groups have also committed violations included killing or abducting civilians, and using them as hostages.

SWN is extremely concerned about the random raids targeting all Syrians including men, women and children, the continuation of detainees’ torture by security forces with all forms prohibited by international laws, and the constant breaches of international laws and conventions related to treatment of detained women and the using them to pressurise the detained men and the community.

The use of women as a weapon of war as well as the social and economic impacts, resulted from detaining women or threatening their security, urge us at SWN to act immediately and work on the issue of detainees, and to protect Syrian women from all types exploitation and violations committed against them as prisoners of conscience or victims of war according the objectives of SWN.


*Syrian Women’s Network (SWN) includes individuals and independent non-governmental democratic organisations working on issues of gender equality, consolidation of democracy, human rights, civil peace and transitional justice; and women’s participation in decision-making in future Syria. It aims to form a powerful force in the process of democratic transition towards a free civil unified sovereign Syria, a state of equal citizenship without any discrimination on grounds of sex, religion, nationality, ethnicity, beliefs, wealth or prestige. The rule of law is the supreme authority which guarantees the right of equality among people. The group is working on networking with organisations and groups supporting common goals in order to empower women at all levels.





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