A man, identified as Wael Ibrahim al-Hawwash, from al-Shnan town in eastern rural Deir Ez-Zour governorate, was arrested by Syrian regime forces in 2020 in al-Maydeen city, also in eastern rural Deir Ez-Zour governorate. He has been classified as forcibly disappeared ever since, with the Syrian regime denying any knowledge of his whereabouts and refusing to allow anyone, even a lawyer, to visit him. On November 5, 2023, his family learned that he had died in Sednaya Military Prison in Rural Damascus governorate. We can confirm that Wael was in good health at the time of his arrest, indicating a strong probability that he died due to torture and medical negligence in the infamous regime detention center.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) can also confirm that Syrian regime authorities have not returned Wael’s body to his family; this is standard practice for the regime, which fails to return the bodies of the overwhelming majority of those who die in its detention centers to their families. Instead, the regime disposes of these bodies in mass cremations. 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 also noteworthy that at least 135,638 Syrian citizens are still detained or forcibly disappeared in Syrian regime detention centers. SNHR has serious concerns about their fate. We have documented the deaths of at least 15,051 Syrian citizens due to torture in regime detention centers since March 2011.