A media activist, named as Thamer Muhammad al Shehadeh, who works for the People’s Municipal Council affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces in al Sh’afa town in the eastern suburbs of Deir Ez-Zour governorate, was arrested along with his brother, Jarrah, by SDF personnel on August 13, 2021, during a raid on their home in the village and taken to an undisclosed location. SNHR documented that his brother was released a few hours after their arrest while the media activist’s fate remains unknown.
SNHR notes that no members of the detainees’ family were informed of their arrest or whereabouts, with their phones being confiscated, preventing them from contacting their families. SNHR fears that Thamer will be subjected to torture and ultimately classified as forcibly ‘disappeared’, like approximately 85 percent of all detained persons in Syria.
SNHR can confirm that at least 3,796 Syrian citizens are still detained or forcibly disappeared in the SDF’s detention centers, constituting a grave threat to the detainees’ wellbeing, especially given the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.