Wael Juma Khalilo, born in 1984, from Bdama town in Idlib governorate western suburbs, was arrested by Military Security personnel of the Syrian regime forces on November 15, 2011 as he passed a checkpoint on the road between Bdama town and Latakia governorate. His family were able to visit him once in 2014 in Saydnaya Military Prison in Damascus suburbs. Thereafter, the regime consistently denied detaining him and refused to allow anyone, even a lawyer, to visit him. On May 26, 2022, his family learned of his death inside a Syrian regime forces detention center from a released detainee, we have information confirming he was in good health at the time of his arrest, which makes it probable that he died due to torture and lack of medical care.
SNHR can confirm that the Syrian regime failed to hand Wael’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.
We can confirm that 132,667 Syrian citizens are still detained or forcibly disappeared in Syrian regime forces detention centers. We fear for their fate in light of the spread of COVID-19.
SNHR notes that 14,449 Syrian citizens are documented as having died due to torture inside the Syrian regime’s detention centers.