The Working Group for Palestinians in Syria has called upon representatives of the Syrian regime and the opposition meeting in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations to release the Palestinians being held by both sides of the conflict. Nearly four hundred Palestinian refugees are being detained in government and opposition-run prisons.
The group said in a statement that it has documented 391 arrests of Palestinian refugees; 355 are being held by the Syrian regime and 36 by the opposition forces. “The arrests are mainly of young people as well as journalists, relief workers and doctors,” said the group’s statement. “The regime arrested Dr Hayel Hameed in his clinic on 11 August, 2012, for example.” In Aleppo, most of the Palestinian detainees are being held by opposition forces.
According to the Working Group, it has documented evidence of 137 cases of death under torture, the overwhelming majority of which were while detainees were in government custody; just 2 people died under torture inflicted by the opposition. The latest documented case is of Palestinian engineer Osama Omar Abu Hashem, aged 70, who worked as a relief worker in Aleppo.