Riyad Muhammad Othman, from Ehsem town in Idlib governorate’s southern suburbs, was arrested in the town by Syrian regime forces in 2011, and has been classified as forcibly disappeared ever since. Thereafter, the regime consistently denied detaining him and refused to allow anyone, even a lawyer, to visit him. On May 9, 2022, his family learned from a released detainee that he had died inside a Syrian regime forces’ detention center. We have information confirming that he was in a good health when arrested, which indicates that he died due to torture and lack of medical care.
SNHR can confirm that the Syrian regime failed to hand Riyad’s body over 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, these detainees continue to be classified as being among the forcibly disappeared.
SNHR can confirm that at least 132,667 Syrian citizens are currently 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 14,449 Syrian citizens have died due to torture in Syrian regime detention centers.