Solidarity with Families Syria

Press Release: Syrians to stage protest for International Day in Support of Victims of Torture – 22 June, The Hague

22 June 2022, The Hague: Syrian survivors, families of victims, and other activists in The Netherlands will stage a demonstration against torture and forced detentions of thousands of people in Syria outside the Peace Palace in The Hague (Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ) at 18.00 on Wednesday 22 June.

The action will coincide with the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (26 June).

Victims’ families are an integral part of the Syrian cause. The international community must ensure their participation in achieving justice–a justice built on revealing the fate of their loved ones, on accountability and on reparations for the violations committed against them.

Families and activists will carry placards showing pictures of loved ones who died under torture, calling for justice for victims of the Syrian regime and urging the creation of an international mechanism to reveal the truth about the country’s disappeared.

Since the start of the popular uprising in 2011, around 150,000 individuals, including women and children, remain detained or forcibly disappeared in Syria. Tens of thousands experienced shocking torture, while others have been killed, as highlighted in the recently leaked Tadamon massacre video.

The families of the victims have been an integral part on the road to get justice.

“Establishing an international mechanism with a humanitarian approach to reveal the fate of the missing and forcibly disappeared is an investment in peace in Syria. It is a top priority, especially after the issuance of the so-called “amnesty law” in Syria and the confusion that resulted from it, which increased the suffering of all Syrian families who have their relatives detained or forcibly disappeared in the prisons of the Syrian regime”Husam Balkhi/ Caesar Families Associations.

“The role of the families of the forcibly disappeared in the formation of an international, independent, and impartial mechanism to reveal the fate of the kidnapped loved ones and the places where they are hidden is a guarantee of the effectiveness and continuity of this mechanism after its formation and putting into action”Khalil Al haj Saleh/ Coalition of Famiies of those kidnapped by ISIS (Massar)

“Not knowing the fate of our beloved ones (as families of detainees and families of forcibly disappeared), is causing severe psychological pain, which is defined as a kind of torture by the International Convention for the Protection of Persons from Enforced Disappearance. We live in endless waiting, waiting for news of any kind”Farah Alraes/ Families for Freedom

The action is organised by the Truth and Justice Charter (the Association of Detainees and the Missing in Sednaya Prison, the Ta’afi Initiative, Coalition of Families of those kidnapped by ISIS (Massar), Families for Freedom, and the Caesar Families Association) in collaboration with the Synergy/Hevdestî Association for Victims in North and East Syria, the General Union of Detainees, Release Me, the Association of Adra Prison, and Families for Truth and Justice. Spokespeople from these organisations will be available for interviews in English, Arabic and Dutch

The action is supported by Dutch NGOs Impunity Watch and PAX