Up to 28,000 Syrians have ‘disappeared’ since uprising began

The Guardian reports: Up to 28,000 Syrians have disappeared over the past 19 months, with civilians snatched from the streets or forcibly abducted by government troops or security forces, human rights groups say.

Relatives had been unable to discover the fate of their loved ones. Many of those abducted were almost certainly dead, while others were alive and being held in Syrian prisons or secret detention centres where they were tortured, the groups claimed.

Since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011, government forces had “disappeared” peaceful protesters on an unprecedented scale, the groups said. Some campaigners have estimated the number of those who have vanished could be as high as 80,000.

A harrowing film released on Thursday by the global campaign network Avaaz shows disturbing footage of forced disappearances. In one incident, three soldiers grab two women dressed in black abayas walking down a street. They hit them and drag them away. In another, soldiers abduct a Syrian man, yanking him by the hair past a tank.

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