A military defector from Syrian regime forces, named as Bashar Khalil al Halqi, from Jasem city in the northern suburbs of Daraa governorate, was arrested by regime forces in 2018 when he handed himself over to them, despite being amongst those who had 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 May 4, 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 one of the regime’s detention centers.
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 131,106 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 14,315 Syrian citizens have died due to torture in Syrian regime forces’ detention center.