The Without Just Cause Political Prisoners Campaign, launched by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) to shed light on some of the most prominent enforced disappearance cases from across the globe, has selected the case of the forcibly disappeared Syrian woman, Rania al-Abbasi, and her six children in coordination with the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR). We at, SNHR, would like to express our most heartfelt gratitude to Rania’s family for their continued collaboration since 2014. Since this is a core part of our mission, we will spare no means to remind the world of the issue of enforced disappearance in Syria.
Dr. Rania al-Abbasi, a dentist, as well as a Syrian and regional Arab chess champion, was arrested by Syrian regime forces on Monday, March 11, 2013, in the Dummar neighborhood of Damascus city, along with her six children (Dima born in 1999, Intisar born in 2001, Najah born in 2003, Aalaa born in 2005, Ahmad born in 2007, and Layan born in 2011, who was an infant at the time of her arrest), and her friend Majdoleen al Qadi. This followed the arrest of Rania’s husband, Abdul Rahman Yasin, two days earlier, on Saturday, March 9, 2013. The fate of the couple and their children remains unknown.
As documented on SNHR’s database, the Syrian regime is responsible for the ongoing enforced disappearance of at least 95,696 Syrian citizens arrested since 2011, which constitutes a crime against humanity. The Syrian regime refuses to free any of these forcibly disappeared people, who are subjected to the most harrowing forms of torture, or even to reveal their fate. We have serious concerns for their wellbeing and lives.