Peace Palace,The Hague
Each year on June 26, we observe the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture to denounce crimes of torture and to honour and provide support to victims and survivors around the globe. The day is a time to express solidarity with the world’s hundreds of thousands of torture victims and their families, who have endured great suffering. With our upcoming demonstration, we will shed light on the grave violations our loved ones held in detention in Syria have faced, as well as the practices they endure and the suffering of their families as they remain forcibly disappeared in prison.
The Truth and Justice Charter (a partnership between the Association of Detainees and the Missing in Sednaya Prison, the Ta’afi Initiative, 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 invite you to stand with us on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at 6pm in front of the Peace Palace in The Hague. Together we will stand as families of detainees to express our anger and frustration after recent revelations about the Tadamon Massacre in southern Damascus as well as the Syrian regime’s recent amnesty decree. This latest decree resembled previous ones issued by the regime, which lacked clarity about about whether they would be implemented and were used simply as a means to toy with the feelings of Syrian detainees’ families. We will also demand the release of detainees and the creation of an international human rights mechanism to reveal the truth about Syria’s forcibly disappeared persons.
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.
This focus on accountability is the true guarantor for the rights of victims and their families. This focus must not be shoved aside when discussing detainees and the forcibly disappeared in Syria.
We would like you to join us on Wednesday to raise photos of your loved ones, condemn the crimes committed against them, demand answers about their fate and call for freedom and justice for all of Syria’s detainees. The injustices that have occurred will not silence our voices. Rather, they will only intensify our determination to uphold the rights of our loved ones.
The Syrian regime still underestimates and manipulates our pain and dignity as family members of detainees and the forcibly disappeared. Furthermore, the regime doesn’t bother to issue official lists of detainees it has released, or even communicate with their families.
Today, our families need answers that hold space for our dignity and feelings. The perpetrators of these crimes against humanity must be held accountable. Your support and presence alongside us will make our voices stronger. We look forward to standing with you.
Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at 6pm in front of the Peace Palace, The Hague