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Syria: Three Men Abducted From Their Homes by State Security Forces

Abdullatif Ziqab

Among the many arrests in Syria between 2011 and 2015, three men have been arrested from their homes by members of the State Security Forces – the General Intelligence Directorate falling under the authority of the Ministry of Interior –. They remain disappeared and their families do not have any information on their fates and whereabouts. On 10 August 2016, Alkarama and Human Rights Guardians, wrote to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced Disappearances (WGEID) regarding their cases.

One of the disappeared men is 51-year-old Abdullatif Ziqab, a volunteer assistant to the Syrian Security Forces. He was arrested on 10 June 2011 after the State Security Forces raided his house in Darkush, in the Idlib Governorate, at 8am. Alongside Ziqab, 23 of his colleagues were arrested at the Jisr al-Shughur checkpoint in Idlib in on the same day and accused of rather "handling over the security branch they were working in to the rebels". Ziqab's wife had last seen him in April 2014 in Sednaya prison. She claims he was severely tortured with electric shocks as well as burning iron and was unidentifiable due to having skin removed from his face.

In a similar case which took place on 5 May 2012, Ahmed Manaa, a 34-year-old construction worker, was arrested without a warrant from his home in Idlib by members of the State Security forces who were dressed in civilian and military uniforms. He was first sent to the State Security Branch of Idlib where he was held for eight months before being transferred to Damascus' Branch and then to Sednaya prison. Manaa's family tried to get an authorisation to visit him in the summer of 2015 through the military police in Al-Qaboun, however; they were informed that since he has not been on trial, no visits were allowed. His family has no information regarding his current whereabouts.

The last case is that of 21-year-old Bassil Mahmoud, who was arrested on 14 October 2014 without a warrant at his home in Qamshili by a patrol of the State Security forces in civilian clothes. His brother inquired about him to the Courthouse in Damascus soon after his abduction and was informed that his brother had died; yet, he was never able to collect Mahmoud's ID from the Teshrin Military Hospital as he was told. Mahmoud was last seen by a former detainee about a year after his abduction in the State Security Branch in Damascus.

The families of the victims have not been able to take action due to fear of retribution. Alkarama and Human Rights Guardians expressed their grave concern over the fate of the victims and the serious violations of their basic rights to the WGEID in order to urge the Syrian authorities to take action by placing the disappeared men under the protection of the law.

For more information, please contact media@alkarama.org (Dir: +41 22 734 1008).