Yousef Yaqoub Abdul Aziz, the 67-year-old imam of the Salah al Din al Ayoubi Mosque in the old Afrin neighborhood in Afrin city north of Aleppo governorate, from Simalka village near Afrin city, was arrested by Syrian National Army personnel on February 17, 2022 in a raid on his home in Villat Street in the city’s Jam’iyet al Mu’almein neighborhood, and taken to an undisclosed location.
SNHR notes that no member of his family has been informed of the reason for his arrest, and his phone has been confiscated, while he’s been prevented from contacting his family. SNHR fears that he will be subjected to torture and ultimately classified as forcibly ‘disappeared’, like approximately 85 percent of all detained persons in Syria.
SNHR calls for financial and psychological restitution for all victims and their families, as well as for an end to all arbitrary detentions, and for the fate of hundreds of individuals forcibly disappeared by regime 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.