A secondary school student, named as Murhaf Hamid al Shehab, from al Safsafa village which is administratively a part of al Mansoura town in the western suburbs of Raqqa governorate, was arrested by Syrian regime forces in May 2017, as he was passing through a checkpoint near Athariya town in the eastern suburbs of Hama governorate heading from Raqqa governorate to Hama city. 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 August 6, 2021, his family was informed of his death. SNHR 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 prison.
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 families, they continue to be classified as being among the forcibly disappeared.
SNHR can confirm that at least 131,178 Syrian citizens are still detained or forcibly disappeared in the regime’s detention centers, constituting a grave threat to the detainees’ wellbeing, particularly given the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
SNHR notes that at least 14,338 Syrian citizens have died due to torture in Syrian regime forces’ detention center.