A human rights organization reported on Tuesday that it documented at least 357 cases of arbitrary arrests in March, including 162 cases of enforced disappearance mostly perpetuated by the Assad regime and the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG).
"The report records 357 cases of arbitrary arrests in March 2019, including 16 children and 26 women, at the hands of the main perpetrator parties to the conflict in Syria," the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said in its report published on Tuesday.
The report underscored that arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances have been among the most common and widespread violations in the war-torn country, as the Assad regime has remained by far the largest offender, followed by the YPG terrorist organization.
"These human rights violations are carried out by the Syrian security services, as well as their affiliated militias, as part of a deliberate and planned strategy... in order to instill terror and fear into the largest possible number of Syrian people," the report wrote.
Stressing that 1,271 cases of arbitrary arrests have been made since the start of 2019, the SNHR documented that 263 arbitrary arrests last month were carried out at the hands of Syrian regime forces, including 11 children and 22 women, while the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella group consisting mostly of YPG terrorists, has perpetuated 42 cases of arbitrary arrests including three children and two women. In relation to the arbitrary arrest procedures of the Syrian regime, the organization indicated that most of the arrests in Syria are carried out without any judicial warrant, while the victims are passing through checkpoints or during raids.
The report further elaborated that people are not only exposed to arbitrary arrest but also forced disappearances and torture. "The detainee is tortured from the very first moment of his or her arrest and denied any opportunity to contact his or her family or to have access to a lawyer," the report indicated, adding that 85 percent of all detentions documented have subsequently been categorized as enforced disappearance cases, with detainees' families being
denied any information on their loved ones' whereabouts.
Touching upon other human rights violations committed by YPG forces, the report pointed out that the terrorist organization have violated many basic rights and practiced numerous violations including torture and enforced disappearance.
Noting that YPG forces have highly hierarchical administrative structure, the SNHR underscored the organization, therefore, is obliged to implement the provisions of international human rights law.
At the end of the report, SNHR called for the international community to address the issue appropriately and urged the U.N. and the guarantor parties at Astana to form an impartial special committee to monitor cases of arbitrary arrest and to reveal the fate of the 95,000 missing persons in Syria, approximately 86 percent of whom are detained by the Syrian regime.
In its previous report published on Monday, the human rights organization documented the killing of 314 civilians, including 85 children and 63 women in March with 78 of the civilians murdered by regime forces and 18 others at the hands of the YPG. The previous report also indicated that 30 people died due to torture in Syria last month; including 26 at the hands of regime forces, while one was at the hands of the YPG.
Women and children, in particular, have suffered the most from human rights violations in the Syrian civil war. More than 13,500 women have been imprisoned in Syria so far, and more than 7,000 women are being tortured, raped and subjected to inhumane treatment of various types. The Syrian regime has used rape as a weapon and continues to use it. In a bid to draw attention to the tragedy experienced by women in the Syrian war, in February the Conscience Movement called on the global community to take urgent action to secure the release of women and children languishing in Syrian prisons.