Yahya Ali al-Eisa, a construction worker from Khattab town in the northern suburbs of Hama governorate, born in 1962, was arrested by Syrian regime forces on May 7, 2014 in a raid on his home in Khattab town. He was taken to a regime detention center in Deir Shmiel village in western Hama governorate, and later transferred to the Syrian regime’s Air Force Security branch in Hama. He has been classified as forcibly disappeared ever since, with the regime denying holding him and forbidding anyone from contacting him, even lawyers.
On January 6, 2023, his family learned he had died in a regime detention center in 2017. The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) can confirm that he was in good health when he was arrested, which makes it highly likely he died due to torture and medical negligence.
We can also confirm that the Syrian regime has not returned Yahya’s dead body to his family; this is a common practice for the regime, which fails to return the overwhelming majority of the bodies of those who die in its detention centers to their families. Instead, the Syrian regime dispose of these dead bodies in deliberate mass incinerations. It should be noted that, as long as the victim’s body is not returned to his or her family, the individual in question is still classified as a forcibly disappeared person.
It is noteworthy that approximately 135,253 Syrian citizens are still detained or forcibly disappeared in Syrian regime detention centers. We have serious concerns about their fate. We have documented the deaths of at least 14,475 Syrian citizens due to torture in regime detention centers since March 2011.