A solider who defected from the Syrian regime’s forces, identified as Muhammad Nayef Qatlish, from Dael city in the northern suburbs of Daraa governorate, was arrested in 2018 despite being among those who had previously agreed on a settlement. Since then, he has been classified as forcibly disappeared, with the Syrian regime denying any knowledge of his arrest and preventing anyone, even a lawyer, from visiting him. On March 15, 2021, Syrian regime informed his family of his death. Our data from numerous sources confirms that he was in good health at the time of his arrest, indicating that he probably died due to torture in a regime detention center.
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 131,106 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.