Civil society and media activist Mohammad Abdul Karim al Samaeil, born in 1984, who came from Saraqeb city in Idlib governorate’s eastern suburbs, worked at the Start Point humanitarian organization. On February 14, 2022, SNHR confirmed via activists that Hay’at Tahrir al Sham personnel had arrested Mohammad on January 20, 2022 in Idlib city, taking him to an undisclosed location, and that his fate remains unknown.
SNHR notes that, prior to this arrest, Hay’at Tahrir al Sham had arrested Mohammad on January 17, 2022 as he passed through a checkpoint in Salwa village north of Idlib governorate while traveling to Afrin north of Aleppo governorate, releasing him the next day, only to arrest him a second time two days later.
SNHR stresses that no members of Mohammad’s family were informed of his arrest, while his phone was confiscated and he has been prevented from contacting his family. We fear he may be subjected to torture and go on to become forcibly disappeared, as is the case for 85% of detainees.
We call for financial and psychological restitution for the victims and their families, as well as for an end to all arbitrary detention, and for the fate of hundreds of individuals forcibly disappeared by Hay’at Tahrir al Sham forces to be revealed. We note that these arrests are carried out with the objective of spreading fear and terror in the community and blackmailing the detainees’ families. We have additional, well-founded fears for the detainees’ wellbeing due to the spread of COVID-19.