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Wednesday 20.09.2017 | Name days: Marianna, Ginters, Guntra

28 000 go missing in Syria

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At least 28,000 people have disappeared after being abducted by forces of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad, according to human rights groups – Avaaz and Sawasya.

They organizations claim they have the names of 18,000 people missing since protests kicked off last March. Besides, they say they know of another 10,000 cases.

“Syrians are being plucked off the street by security forces and paramilitaries and being ‘disappeared’ into torture cells. Whether it is women buying groceries or farmers going for fuel, nobody is safe,” says Alice Jay, campaign director at Avaaz.

“The panic of not knowing whether your husband or child is alive breeds such fear that it silences dissent. The fate of each and every one of these people must be investigated and the perpetrators punished.”

She adds it is a deliberate strategy to “terrorise families and communities”, reports BBC.

However, Syrian human rights organisation Sawasya claims that even more people have been abducted.

“According to information given to us by our contacts in villages across Syria, we think there could be as many as 80,000 forcibly disappeared people. People are being snatched at night, on the street and when no-one is looking,” Sawasya representatives say.

“The regime is doing this for two reasons – to directly get rid of the rebels and activists, and to intimidate the society so that it won’t oppose the regime.”

The information will be given the UN Human Rights Council for investigation.

It should be added that the UN says more than 18,000 people have been killed in the conflict, with 170,000 fleeing abroad and 2.5 million in need of aid within the country. Meanwhile, opposition and human rights activists put the death toll at more than 30,000.

The Syrian government recently pointed out it could consider a temporary ceasefire proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

Opposition groups say they would match any government ceasefire.

Meanwhile, clashes continue in Aleppo and Turkey’s armed forces again returned fire across the border into Syria on Wednesday.

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