Middle East

UN calls for urgent action on missing persons file 

The United Nations (UN) has called on the international community to act urgently and take tangible measures to promote human rights, human dignity and justice in Syria and resolve the missing persons file.

This came in a session held by the UN General Assembly on Friday to hear a statement from the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on the human rights situation in Syria.

In her speech to the assembly’s members, Bachelet expressed: “It is essential that the international community respond to the magnitude and horror of the violations and crimes committed in Syria with concrete action to more strongly uphold human rights, human dignity and justice.”

Bashar Al-Assad’ schizophrenia: asking refugees to come back to Syria but at the same time keeps planning chemical attacks – Cartoon [Mohammad Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Bachelet also added that action needs to be taken quickly and that the community must be proactive because the victims and their families deserve nothing less.

The high commissioner mentioned the families of the missing in Syria, stressing: “It is urgent that they are informed of the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones and be allowed to visit or communicate with them.”

She noted a clear lack of progress in addressing this tragedy, despite the Syrian conflict entering its twelfth year.

“The current status, whereabouts and fate of tens of thousands of people are still unknown. Tens of thousands of Syrians have been arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in harsh conditions and have often been subjected to torture and ill-treatment, in addition to the exposure of men and women as well as children, including boys under the age of 11, to sexual violence during detention,” Bachelet added.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights estimates the number of detainees and forcibly disappeared persons in Syria at more than 151,000, according to a report issued in mid-March 2022, to mark the eleventh anniversary of the Syrian revolution.

READ: UK repatriates two children from Syria camps after handover by SDF

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