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After Raqqa fall, activists seek fate of civilians detained by ISIS

DETAINEES | 2017-10-25 14:44:39
After Raqqa fall, activists seek fate of civilians detained by ISIS
(Zaman Al Wasl)- The fate of dozens of Syrian activists who arbitrarily arrested by the Islamic State in Raqqa remains unknown even after the city liberation on Friday. 

Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, prominent local monitoring tracks Syrian war, has launched a campaign seeking the fate of civilians and activists detained by the Islamic State after the liberation of once ISIS de facto capital.

The campaign managers published identification cards for the different activists which show information about the activities they were engaged in, the kidnapping party, the location they were kidnapped from, the date and time. 

Hossam Issa, founding member of Raqqa is being Slaughtered Silently, said the idea began with the beginning of movement towards Raqqa city. He said the goal is to intensify efforts to discover the fate of the kidnapped activists or get information about them because the Coalition has captured and arrested several Daesh members, including senior commanders, and investigated with them.

The second phase of the campaign is focusing on the investigations with ISIS fighters who returned to Europe. Campaign members intend to attend these fighters’ trials, Issa added. 

the detained activists were distributed among several Islamic State prison, including the al-Rashid Dam (al-Baath previously), the Euphrates Dam, the 11th point - the municipal stadium in al-Raqqah, the provincial building, in houses and other places.

Issa pointed out that the Islamic State prisons are now under the control of SDF and the Coalition does not allow anyone to enter the prisons nor does it give any information about the detainees. 

He stressed that the campaign will not be limited to the detainees in al-Raqqah but will expand to include all the people kidnapped and detained by the Islamic State forces in Syria who number in the thousands.


Most of the activists were kidnapped as a form of arrest and charged with working against the Islamic State in general and influencing the public. Issa added that many of these activists are also wanted by the Syrian regime. 

Issa says  ISIS has always denied that it was holding these detainees and originally said they were kidnapped by unknown persons before later admitting that these activists were held in Islamic State prisons.  

“Where are they” campaign began to publish pictures of detainees and information about them and the second phase will be to disseminate more extensive material about some of them and their activities. He confirmed that there is an idea to broadcast short videos featuring the relatives or friends of the kidnapped activists. 

The Islamic State forces held over 200 activists in al-Raqqa, and activists tried to indirectly obtain information from Islamic State members about the detainees, but they did not succeed as the members remained silent about the issue and refused to disclose any information concerning the activists based on orders from their commanders. 

The Islamic State transferred detainees from its prisons in the north eastern countryside of Aleppo to al-Rashid prison in the western Raqqah countryside in early March. The forces also transferred many detainees held in Raqqa city to the southern bank of the Euphrates River. Activists confirmed that the Islamic State transferred between 120-140 detainees across the Tishreen Dam to the Euphrates southern bank, but they were unable to find out the exact location the detainees were moved to or any other details about the transfer operation. 

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