10 November 2016

Syria: Political Activist Faeq Al Mir Disappeared for Three Years

On 7 October 2013, Syrian political activist Asaad Al Mir– also known as Faeq Al Mir – was arrested in Damascus and has since been disappeared. His family is very concerned as he needs regular medical care due to health issues he suffers because of previous mistreatment in detention. Hoping that the United Nations’ intervention with the Syrian authorities will help shed light on his fate and whereabouts, on 9 November 2016, Alkarama submitted his case to the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances (WGEID).

Al Mir is a long-time political activist, starting as a young militant in the Syrian Communist Partyto become then the leader of the Political Bureau of the Syrian Democratic People's Party, two political parties banned by the Syrian government. Due to his political engagement, he had been arrested and detained several times before his disappearance.

For instance, in 1989, Al Mir was arrested and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by the Supreme State Security Court following an unfair trial on charges including “membership in a secret organization aimed at overthrowing the political and social system of the State”. He was released from Sednaya Military Prison in 1999 and arrested again in 2006 by State security officers and detained in Adra Prison for 18 months for “circulating false or exaggerated news which would weaken the morale of the nation”. In 2010, he was sentenced in absentia to 15 years of imprisonment on charges of “weakening national sentiments” due to his political activism.

On 7 October 2013 at around 10 am, Al Mir left his house in downtown Damascus and never came back, as he was arrested at a nearby checkpoint under the control of governmental security forces. One hour later, his house was stormed by about ten men in civilian clothes who his family believes to be members of governmental security forces. They threatened his relatives and seized his computer and several other belongings.

The two official inquiries initiated by Al Mir’s relatives and calls by international human rights organisations led to no result so far, and he remains disappeared up until today.

“Together with Al Mir’s family, we are extremely worried about his fate and whereabouts as he may not have access to the health care needed for his severe health issues, and may even be subjected to torture while secretly detained,” says Inès Osman, Alkarama's Legal Officer responsible for Syria. “The Syrian authorities must proceed to Al Mir’s immediate and unconditional release or, at the very least, inform his family of his whereabouts and provide him with immediate access to them, his lawyer and allow him to receive the appropriate medical care. It is clear that the widespread and systematic use of enforced disappearance amounts to a crime against humanity to which the Syrian authorities have an obligation to put an end, as demanded as well by several States during Syria’s last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 31 October 2016.”

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 1008).

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