The world’s first trial of Syrian state torture.

We are asking for prayer for Wafa Mustafa (pictured below) and friends of hers from Syria, whose family members and loved ones are among the 130,000 people who have disappeared, believed to have been detained and tortured by the Syrian regime, ISIS, and other armed groups.

Syrian campaigner Wafa Mustafa sits between pictures of victims of the Syrian regime as she holds a picture of her father, during a protest outside the trial against two Syrian alleged former intelligence officers accused for crimes against humanity, in the first trial of its kind to emerge from the Syrian conflict, on June 4, 2020 in Koblenz, western Germany. – Wafa was part of the resistance against the Syrian government and had to flee Syria once her dad was arrested. She came to Germany in 2016. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS LOHNES/AFP via Getty Images)

Wafa herself picks up the story:

Today is a big day as I am once again outside the courthouse in the German town of Koblenz to witness the world’s first trial of Syrian state torture. Two members of Assad’s regime are on trial for murdering and torturing thousands of detainees and it’s the first week that survivors are finally speaking out against their oppressors in court.

It’s a crucial first step towards accountability in Syria, that might eventually expose a chain of command that goes all the way up to Assad. But at the same time, people are still suffering in inhumane cells to this day. We must not wait until they are killed by COVID or tortured to death to start seeking justice.

I am a member of Families for Freedom, a women-led movement of Syrians like me searching for our family members amongst the 130,000 people who have been detained and tortured by the Syrian regime, ISIS, and other armed groups.

Together we are pushing the international community to do more to free all detainees and missing persons and to hold those responsible to account.

So many families wanted to be here with me today but couldn’t travel due to coronavirus restrictions. Instead, I’ve come alone with photos of their fathers, sisters, brothers and daughters in the hope that our calls for freedom will be heard. 

These photos of our loved ones, snatched from us and missing from every birthday meal and family moment, are the closest we can get to representing them here at the trial.

My father is a human rights defender and I have learnt from him and I will never stop demanding freedom for those detained. I will continue to campaign until my dad is standing by my side and able to speak up for justice using his own voice. 

Could you sign Families for Freedom’s petition demanding the release of Syria’s detainees?

In hope and solidarity,