Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Opinion | Revisiting the issue of Syrian detainees in Assad prisons

This article is about a painful and thorny topic: The detainees in Assad’s prisons and the release of some of them.

According to the lowest estimates, there are 220,000 detainees, while most estimates are more in the range of 350-400 thousand detainees in Assad’s prisons about whom nothing is known. I am only talking here about those known to be detainees after the Great Syrian Explosion in 2011.

The file of detainees is a file that is being discussed in every international or UN meeting — detainees, detainees and detainees. Therefore, in a coordination between Assad and his partners in criminal planning, the decision was made that it would be to their advantage to end or close the detainees’ file completely, but how?

In fact, the regime maliciously releases prisoners from various Syrian cities, but in very small numbers.

Firas TLASS

Assad issued a formal pardon, and with this formal amnesty, he began releasing detainees with a very malicious intent that reflects the nature of the mentality of this regime. Unfortunately, the social media accounts, some revolutionary ones, may be motivated by enthusiasm or stupidity, began to promote news such as 800 people will be released from Adra Prison, 500 will be released from Saydnaya Prison, thousands will be released every day, four buses will go to Aleppo, and prisoners will be released from Raqqa.

In Assad’s prisons, unfortunately, according to the highest estimates, there are only about 20,000 detainees, no more, and the rest were gotten rid of.

Firas TLASS

In fact, the regime maliciously releases prisoners from various Syrian cities, but in very small numbers. Its thousands of Facebook pages publish news such as my cousin was released after seven years, and the page is in fact fake and the cousin is also fake.

In Assad’s prisons, unfortunately, according to the highest estimates, there are only about 20,000 detainees, no more, and the rest were gotten rid of. But Assad cannot say that I got rid of the rest, especially since this authority was granted to the lowest rank in the security of the regime, all the way to the heads of the branches and the directors of prisons. It is done simply because they own lives, and what we have seen in Tadamun Massacre is only a very small part of the massacres that took place in Syria.

Therefore, Assad will say after a while, through his yellow Facebook pages, some of which, unfortunately, appear to be revolutionary, and some are actually revolutionary but deal with the matter enthusiastically without close scrutiny and concern for the credibility of what they are sharing, that 40,000, 50,000 or 70,000 have been released, and he can invent pages that say 700 people, 800 people, or a thousand people have been released, while the real number is 20 people. Eventually Assad will present this fabricated report at any UN meeting: “We have finished the detainees’ file and the only prisoners we have left are those whose files require further study before being released under the amnesty.”

This is how Assad closed the detainees’ file, and thus, a combination of revolutionary enthusiasm, revolutionary stupidity and the regime’s malice, all helped him to close this file.

The immediate solution… is to open the files of all detainees and make a real inventory of each detainee whose family knows that he or she  has been detained, and thus we will have credible documentation.

Firas TLASS

Of course, it is important not to forget that the regime has opened a very wide door for its brokers to exploit the families of those who have disappeared, from all directions. They will tell the parents that even if their son is present and will eventually be pardoned, he was not included in the current amnesty because he has external links, that even though they cannot include  his name with those being released, they can provide evidence that he is alive but they need 20 thousand dollars in order to get it for them. So the people who want more than anything to believe that their missing family members are still alive, start selling their homes, lands, and whatever they own to any other broker, at the lowest price, in order to secure this amount to give to Assad’s brokers (who are nothing more opportunists and thieves) because the life of their son or father is the most valuable thing they have.

What is the solution? The immediate solution, without relying on the opposition’s Syrian Coalition but on a group of Syrian legal investigators, is to open the files of all detainees and make a real inventory of each detainee whose family knows that he or she  has been detained, and thus we will have credible documentation.

Yes, there are social media pages that document, and there is documentation with the Council of Detainees, or I do not know how to call it, and there is a kind of simple documentation, but now there must be accurate documentation: Who was released, who is still detained and who was eliminated.

This is a very important role in the legal process for the future of the regime.

The big Syrian explosion and the Syrian cause is still a long way from being resolved and the legal process will be a painful one for the regime, so let us be careful.

Firas Tlass
Firas Tlass
Syrian opposition figure and businessman currently based in the United Arab Emirates

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