Abdullah Aani al-Madi, a civil engineer born in 1957 from al-Qouriya city in eastern rural Deir Ez-Zour governorate, was arrested in May 2012 by the Syrian regime’s Air Force Intelligence Directorate at a checkpoint on the road between al-Salamiya city in eastern rural Hama governorate and Homs city, while he was travelling to Damascus city. 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 January 10, 2024, his family learned that he had died in a regime detention center. We can confirm he was in good health at the time of his arrest, indicating a strong possibility that he died due to torture and medical negligence.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) can also confirm that Syrian regime authorities have not returned Abdullah’s body to his family; this is standard practice for the regime, which has failed 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 approximately 135,638 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 approximately 15,051 Syrian citizens due to torture in regime detention centers since March 2011.