A former Colonel Pilot with the Syrian regime military, from al Shajara town in the western suburbs of Daraa governorate, named as Khaled Shehadeh Azizi, who had defected from the regime’s forces, was arrested on December 29, 2018, by regime forces after being summoned to a regime detention center although he was amongst those who had agreed to 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 December 30, 2020, his family was informed that he has been registered in the Civil Registry as dead. SNHR believes that torture was the probable cause of his death in Seydnaya Military Prison in Damascus suburbs governorate.
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.