14 April 2015

Syria: 16-year-old Student Disappeared Since Arrest by Air Force Intelligence in 2012

A picture of Mohamad Amir Mashki A picture of Mohamad Amir Mashki

On 10 April 2015, Alkarama sent a communication to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced Disappearance (WGEID) regarding the case of Mohamad Amir Mashki, a 16-year-old secondary school student from the town of Deir Muqaran, a village in southern Syria located 25km northwest of Damascus, who disappeared since his arrest at an Air Force Intelligence checkpoint in the Rif Dimashq Governorate on 8 October 2012.

Mohamad Amir Mashki was arrested on his way back from picking apples with friends in Takeyya farm, at an Air Force Intelligence checkpoint close to Al-Zabadani, a city in south-western Syria in the Rif Dimashq Governorate, 10 km from the Lebanese border.

According to some of Mohamad's friends who witnessed the incident but were spared the arrest, the officers who arrested him belonged to the Air Force Intelligence Services and were wearing civilian clothes. The Air Force Intelligence Services – "Idarat al Mukhabarat al Jawiyya" – is one of the regime's four intelligence bodies and owes its power to Hafez al-Assad, who was air force chief before seizing power in a coup in 1963.

Since his disappearance in October 2012, Mohamad was seen twice. Some fellow detainees told his family that he had been held at a local branch of the Air Intelligence with them. In April 2014, other witnesses reported that they had seen him at the Al Khateeb Branch of the General Intelligence in Damascus, also known as "Branch 251" or "Interior Branch", a detention centre which witnesses daily cases of deaths, the majority of which occur under torture.

Worried about their son's fate, but also fearful of further reprisals, the family did not take any actions at the local level, but sought help at Alkarama.

In light of this information, Alkarama sent a communication to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) to call upon the Syrian authorities to investigate Mohamad's case and disclose his whereabouts, to allow his family to visit him without restriction and release him immediately. The Syrian authorities must take all appropriate measures to abolish the systematic practice of enforced disappearance.

For more information or an interview, please contact the media team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Dir: +41 22 734 1007 Ext: 810)

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