3,000 people missing in Syrian uprising: Report

Last Updated: Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 18:25

Beirut: A global campaigning organization
said on Thursday that one person disappears in Syria every hour and
that almost 3,000 people have gone missing since the start of
the uprising against President Bashar Assad more than four
months ago.

The online activist group Avaaz.org said its
investigation has identified 2,918 Syrians who were arrested
or abducted by force by security troops and whose whereabouts
are now unknown.

The group published the results of its probe in a
statement, which was emailed to The Associated Press. It also
kicked off a campaign called "Save Syria`s Disappeared" on its
website today.

"Hour by hour, peaceful protesters are plucked from
crowds by Syria`s infamously brutal security forces, never to
be seen again," said Ricken Patel, executive director at
Avaaz.

The group called on the international community to
step up demands for the release of the disappeared and for a
transition to democracy in Syria.

Syrian activists say more than 1,600 people most of
them unarmed protesters have been killed by security forces
since the revolt against Assad`s rule erupted in mid-March.

Although the uprising began with calls for reform, the
steadily climbing death toll and slow pace of reform has
enraged the protesters` movement.

Now, many of them say they won`t accept anything short
of Assad`s ouster.

Avaaz said it has identified 1,634 who were killed in
the crackdown since March 15.

Moreover, 26,000 have been arrested, and many of them
were beaten and tortured. Some 12,617 are still in detention,
the group said.

It said it worked with Syrian human rights
organizations to document the names and photos of each
disappeared case.

Assad has tried to deal with the extraordinary revolt
against his family`s 40-year dynasty through a security
crackdown, but has also acknowledged the need for reform.

He has lifted the decades-old state of emergency laws
and this week endorsed draft legislation that would enable
newly formed political parties to run for parliament and local
councils.

It also endorsed a draft law that it says will allow
the formation of political parties alongside the Baath Party
something that had been a key demand of the protest movement.

Still, opposition figures dismissed the moves as
maneuvering tactics, insisting they want regime change.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 18:25

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