Syria website to release massive database of regime detainees
A Syrian opposition news website has announced it will publish a massive database of people arrested by the Assad regime based on a leaked trove of intelligence documents.
Zaman al-Wasl said on Monday in a statement that it will launch a searchable database of over 1.5 million names of people detained, investigated and banned from travel by authorities.
"We are attempting to shed light on the fate of people detained and forcibly disappeared as well as warn those who the regime is pursuing and working to arrest," the news site said.
"Syrians living in exile will be able to search the data to see if they or their relatives are listed" it said, adding that the information is also aimed at helping human rights groups with research.
The website said it would release the data on March 15 to coincide with the seventh anniversary of the Syrian uprising.
Zaman al-Wasl said it obtained a document archive belonging to the Syrian intelligence services with the latest records dating to mid-2017.
In a report published last year, Amnesty International said at least 75,000 people arrested by regime security forces since the beginning of the conflict have gone missing.
The rights group said that thousands of people have died in custody in Syria's brutal detention centres with tens of thousands more experiencing shocking torture.
The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by President Bashar al-Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.
According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria.
The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.