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22 November 2016

Syria: Two Men From the Same Family Disappeared Following Abduction by the Air Force Intelligence

On 18 November 2016, Alkarama and Human Rights Guardians wrote to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced Disappearances (WGEID) regarding the cases of two Syrian citizens from the village of Kafr al-Tun, who disappeared in the Governorate of Hama in western central Syria in 2012. They were both arrested during raids conducted by the Air Force Intelligence, after which they were brought to unknown places of detention. Their families remain without information on their fates and whereabouts and did not take any action after their disappearance, fearing reprisals or to be arrested themselves.

On 25 September 2012, Amin Al Saleh, a 32-year-old farmer, and his relative Mustafa Al Saleh, a 26-year-old daily worker, were both arrested at home, without a warrant, in the course of late night raids conducted by members of the Air Force Intelligence – the country’s most powerful intelligence service –, wearing civilian clothes and uniforms. Following their abduction, their families went to the Al Hikmeh school, in the village of Kafr al-Tun, where the army is based and were told that their relatives had been transferred to the Hama military airport. Amin and Mustafa were last seen by former detainees in 2013 in Damascus – Amin in Branch 215 of the Military Intelligence Directorate and Mustafa in the Headquarters of the Air Force Intelligence – but both remain disappeared since.

In the light of these cases, which only represent a few of the thousands of disappearances occurring on a regular basis in Syria, Alkarama expressed grave concern over the fate of the two men and the serious violations of their basic rights to the WGEID. We therefore solicited the UN Group’s intervention with the Syrian authorities to ensure that the relatives of the two disappeared be immediately informed of their fate and whereabouts and that they be released or immediately placed under the protection of the law.

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