A man from Kanaker village in the west of Damascus suburbs governorate, named as Rami Rakan Hejazi, was aged 21 at the time of his arrest by personnel from the Sa’sa’ Branch affiliated with Syrian regime forces while he was passing through a checkpoint on road between Kanaker town and Sa’Sa’ town in the southwest of the governorate in 2017, despite being amongst those who previously agreed on a settlement. Since then, he has been classified as forcibly disappeared, with the Syrian regime denying his arrest and preventing anyone, even a lawyer, from visiting him. On March 4, 2021, his family was informed by a released detainee that Rami had died due to torture in a detention center in Damascus city.
SNHR has received confirmation that Syrian regime forces failed to hand over his body to his family; this is standard practice for the regime, with the bodies of the majority of detainees who die in its detention centers being disposed of through mass cremations. Since the whereabouts of these prisoners’ remains is unknown and they are not handed over to their relatives, they continue to be classified as being among the forcibly disappeared.
SNHR can confirm that at least 130,758 Syrian citizens are still detained or forcibly disappeared in the regime’s detention centers, constituting a grave threat to the detainees’ wellbeing, given the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
SNHR notes that at least 14,269 Syrian citizens have died due to torture in Syrian regime forces’ detention center.