The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London delivered an oral statement at the UN Human Rights Council as part of Agenda item 4 of a discussion with the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syria Arab Republic.
PRC’s speaker reiterated the Centre’s appreciation of the UN General Assembly’s decision, issued on June 29, to establish an independent institution to clarify the fate and whereabouts of all missing persons in Syria.
The statement hailed the move as a significant breakthrough, honouring the relentless efforts of NGOs, CSOs, and families who have repeatedly called for an international response.
“For far too long, Palestinian and Syrian families have struggled with the ambivalence surrounding the fate of their loved ones who have been forcibly disappeared, missing, and/or detained”, said PRC’s Speaker.
Citing data by the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS), PRC said the group has documented the secret incarceration of 3,076 Palestinian refugees in Syria since mid-March 2011, among them 127 women and 49 children. Another 633 refugees have died under torture in Syria’s state-run prisons.
PRC called on the UN to act with strong commitment in cooperation with this dedicated entity to directly address the pressing needs of Palestinian families, uphold their right to know, and urge the Syrian regime to disclose the fate of the forcibly-disappeared Palestinian refugees.
PRC expressed its commitment to cooperate with this new, independent and humanitarian institution and all relevant actors to provide support to victims, survivors and the families of missing Palestinian refugees in/from Syria and ensure their cries for help would not go unheard.
Watch the statement here