UN says no official statistics on detainees, abductees, missing persons in Syria

2019-08-08 02:47:46 GMT2019-08-08 10:47:46(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Top United Nations political official told the Security Council on Wednesday that UN has no official statistics on the detainees, abductees and missing persons in Syria.

"Given the continued lack of access to places of detention and to detainees in Syria, the United Nations has no official statistics on those detained, abducted or missing," said UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo.

Reports suggest that more than 100,000 people have so far been detained, abducted, disappeared or went missing, largely, but not only, by the Syrian Government, DiCarlo said while briefing the Council this morning.

The deaths in detention have continued to occur, many allegedly "as a result of torture, neglect or inhumane conditions," she said.

"For the families of detainees, their tragedy is compounded by the difficulty of obtaining death certificates or their remains," the political affairs chief said.

She added that the special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, has prioritized the case of detainees, abductees and the missing.

"Meaningful action on this file would build confidence and move the political process forward," she said.

"The Government of Syria claims that the number of those detained by armed groups is estimated at 16,000. However, without access to all detention centers in Syria, the UN cannot verify the accuracy of this information," DiCarlo said.

"Justice and accountability for these abuses must be ensured, regardless of the perpetrators," she added.

The top political official said that the UN is concerned that thousands of foreign nationals, many women and children who are family members of alleged ISIL members, are currently being detained at al-Hol camp.

"We call on member states to ensure that their nationals are repatriated for the purposes of prosecution, rehabilitation and/or reintegration, as appropriate, and in line with international law and standards," she added.

The United States, which made the original request for the meeting, was joined by eight other Council members in calling for it: Belgium, the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and Britain.

The idea of organizing a meeting about detainees, abductees and missing persons in Syria has been discussed among Council members since at least September 2018, when it was mentioned as a possibility at a high-level meeting in the margins of the General Assembly's general debate, according to the Security Council Report (SCR), whose mission is to advance the transparency and effectiveness of the Security Council. Enditem