Syria: Victims and Survivors of torture, Arbitrary Detention and Enforced Disappearances are Yet to Receive an Effective Remedy

On 31 August 2020, Release Me, Urnammu and No Photo Zone made a submission to four United Nations Special Procedures concerning acts of torture, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances perpetrated by the Syrian authorities and their affiliated forces within the context of the armed conflict taking place in Syria.

Specifically, the submission highlights acts of arbitrary detention and torture against Mr. B. B., Ms. W. A. and Ms. R. A. The three individuals were arrested by the Syrian authorities at different times following the start of the armed conflict in Syria in 2012, and were, similar to thousands of other Syrians, subject to violence, torture, arbitrary detention, and are yet to receive an effective remedy for the violations committed against them.

Since the start of the armed conflict, the Syrian authorities and their affiliated forces have ramped up the already existing use of enforced disappearance, torture and arbitrary detention against peaceful protesters, human rights defenders, political dissidents and members of opposing forces. The cases of the three victims highlight the widespread and systematic use of arbitrary detention, torture, violence to life and intimidation by the Syria authorities and their failure to provide remedies in this regard.

The submission was made to the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions; Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms While Countering Terrorism; The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

The submitting organizations demanded that the Syrian authorities seize their violations of human rights and peremptory norms of international law, and work to provide remedy to victims those violations. The organizations further called on the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria to pay particular attention to the right of victims of human rights violations in Syria to an effective remedy.