332 Palestinian refugees, including 37 women and girls, have gone missing since the outbreak of the Syrian warfare.
332 Palestinian refugees, including 37 women and girls, have gone missing since the outbreak of the Syrian warfare, reported the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS).
According to AGPS, most of those who have disappeared in the country are residents of Yarmouk Camp for Palestinian refugees, south of Damascus.
Activists have accused pro-government militias of targeting Palestinians in arbitrary abduction sweeps carried out under the security guise. Scores of families have been blackmailed over the release of their missing relatives and have paid large sums of money to brokers, crooked lawyers, or government officials to get pieces of information about their conditions and whereabouts.
AGPS said it believes that the number is far higher due to the gag orders enforced by the Syrian authorities on the detainees’ fates and names, along with the reluctance of the refugee families to reveal the names of their deceased or missing relatives for fear of retaliation.
The group said that the arbitrary internment and enforced disappearance of Palestinian refugees in war-torn Syria amounts to a war crime.
Affidavits by ex-detainees provided evidence on the involvement of Syrian government officers in harsh torture tactics, including electric shocks, heavy beating using whips and iron sticks, and sexual abuse against forcibly-disappeared Palestinians, in a flagrant violation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT), it added.
AGPS urged the Syrian government to disclose the fate of scores of Palestinians forcibly disappeared in state-run dungeons, release the bodies of those tortured to death, seriously work on halting harsh torture tactics, launch fact-finding probes into crimes of torture, and to bring those involved in such crimes before courts.