To the United Nations Security Council

I add my voice to thousands of Syrian families who are calling out for freedom and justice for their loved ones who have been detained and forcibly disappeared by the Syrian regime and armed groups. We demand you immediately use your power and influence to free all of Syria’s detained and disappeared who are still alive. We demand the location of the burial sites of those who have been executed or tortured to death. We demand justice for the detained and disappeared and we want those who killed them to be held to account.


Goal: 10,000

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Stand with the Families for Freedom


We are the Families for Freedom

Who are we? We are a movement of Syrian families. We are women-led. We are peaceful. We are determined. Join us.

We are Syrian families demanding freedom for all of the country’s sons and daughters.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are detained or disappeared, the majority of them at the hands of the Syrian regime. They are our peaceful sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives.

Our position is against enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention by the Syrian regime and all parties to the conflict. We want to mobilise the public to pressure all sides to comply with our demands.

Our movement will not stop until every last Syrian is freed and found. We will continue to expand our movement to include every family with a detained or missing person, across religions, political beliefs or ethnicities.

We have been intimidated and told not to speak out. But we will not be silenced. We are crying out to this unjust world that we want our loved ones back.

Our stories

The demands of the Families for Freedom

We make these demands on behalf of every Syrian family with a loved one detained or disappeared.

We, as families, demand the immediate release of our relatives who have been unlawfully detained. And until then, we call on the Syrian regime and all warring sides, and all those who may influence them:

  1. To immediately release a list of names of all detainees, along with their current locations and statuses, and to immediately stop torture and mistreatment. In the case of death of a detainee, a death certificate along with a report on causes of death and burial location must be presented to the families.
  2. Pressure the Syrian government to allow international humanitarian organizations to immediately deliver food and medical aid, and to grant international rights groups access to detention facilities to closely monitor living conditions in order to guarantee civil detention facilities to meet healthy living standards
  3. Abolish exceptional courts, especially field, war and counter-terrorism courts and guarantee fair trials under a supervision from the United Nations
  4. Hold to account all those responsible from all sides, and particularly the Syrian government, for the violations they have committed and are continue to commit against the arbitrarily detained and their families as an essential step toward justice

How will we free our loved ones?

Finding and freeing our loved ones and all of Syria’s detained and disappeared will be a lifelong struggle. Together we will:

  1. Bring together thousands of Syrian families from across the country and across political divides to campaign locally and internationally for the release of detainees
  2. We will travel to wherever peace talks are being held to remind all those carrying arms that there can be no peace without freedom for our loved ones
  3. We will meet and lobby everyone, everywhere that can help free Syria’s detained and disappeared

We are not politicians or fighters. We do not get official invites to banquets or expensive hotels to negotiate over the future of our beloved country. But we will be there. Armed with our love for our family members taken away from us, we will be there. Motivated by the many strong women who have come before us, the Mothers of Plaza Del Mayo in Argentina, the women in Black in Bosnia, the families of the disappeared in Algeria and Lebanon, we will be there.

With your solidarity, we will be there.

6 key facts about detention in syria

  1. Across Syria, more than 100,000 Syrians have been arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared. The real number could be double or triple that - but it’s impossible to get an accurate figure. Many families have not registered their loved ones with human rights documentation groups. We are not the only ones waiting for their family members to come home. There are countless other Syrians like us.
  2. The great majority of people are detained by the Syrian regime, but armed opposition groups and extremist groups like Isis are also guilty of detention and disappearance.
  3. Most Syrian detainees are nonviolent people who have never picked up a weapon. Many are detained for protesting peacefully or being doctors or delivering humanitarian aid. Others are taken based on unsubstantiated rumours or simply for being from an area that is known for opposing the regime. Oftentimes however, people are detained for no reason at all. A kingdom of fear was built on this random act of disappearance.
  4. Tens of thousands of children have been detained in Syria, some alone and some with their mothers. Pregnant women whose babies survive the birth spend years inside the dungeons. Some have never seen the colour of the sky - blue. They have never seen a bird or a picture. Children have died under torture.
  5. Detainees face abuse, torture starvation and extremely difficult living conditions. They are crowded into small cells, and some are forced to live for months in coffin-sized solitary confinement. Detainees are often referred to temporary courts that are not subject to the law and make a fair trial impossible. Many detainees are sentenced to life imprisonment or even to death. It is feared that thousands have been killed in detention in a deliberate policy Amnesty has described as “extermination”
  6. Detainees don’t suffer alone, their families suffer too. In the majority of cases, the Syrian authorities refuse to provide any information on a detainee’s whereabouts or fate. Families of those who have died in detention are denied information about whether their family member has indeed died, or the cause of death or location of burial. Families are often forbidden from announcing the death of their loved ones or even holding a funeral.

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Stand with the Families for Freedom