- Title: Beirut exhibition throws light on missing Syrians
- Date: 3rd September 2017
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (AUGUST 30, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE ATTENDING THE OPENING OF 'TENS OF THOUSANDS' EXHIBITION PEOPLE STANDING BY WORDS ON WALL READING (Arabic / English): "TENS OF THOUSANDS" SCARF BELONGING TO PERSON MISSING IN SYRIA ON DISPLAY WORDS TELLING THE STORY OF MISSING PERSON VARIOUS OF INSTALLATION (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FORMER SYRIAN DETAINEE, AHMAD ZAGHLOUL, SAYING: "Most of those whose names are here are my friends, like Abdulaziz Al Khayer or Bassel Khartabil with whom I was in prison, whom I met in prison for 10 days. It is very important to shed light on disappeared people, whether they are with the regime or on the other side." VARIOUS OF INSTALLATIONS VARIOUS OF PORTRAIT OF MISSING WOMAN VARIOUS OF PEOPLE AT EXHIBITION (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN FORMER DETAINEE, FADWA MAHMOUD, SAYING: "This exhibition sheds light a lot on the issue of detainees. People, come and see, there is a very important issue, don't close your eyes to it, look at it, we are putting it under the magnifying glass for you, you should see it and work on it. I am not addressing ordinary people, ordinary people can stand in solidarity but we want the international community who have a say in political decisions: 'you can do something about a political decision, but where are you when it comes to a cause like the cause of detainees? Why aren't you working on it?'" VARIOUS OF WOMAN SITTING ON A CHAIR LISTENING TO A VOICE RECORDING VARIOUS OF VISITORS LISTENING TO VOICE RECORDINGS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER, NOURA GHAZI SAFADI, SAYING: "This subject touches me a lot. I consider the forced disappearance worse than detention, worse than anything, any violation that may happen in the world, because it targets the individual victim as well as his family and beloved ones. It is not only an end to freedom, but also a denial of existence and a deprivation of knowledge. Even when the relatives make sure it is a case of death, they aren't given any papers proving death, nor do they receive bodies. There is no case of body delivery in Syria." VARIOUS OF EVENT AT EXHIBITION VARIOUS OF LAWYER GHAZI SAFADI HUGGING MAN (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE WOMAN ATTENDING THE EXHIBITION, RIMA NASSER, SAYING: "I hope it makes a difference not only for Syria but for all the world and to human rights." VARIOUS OF OPENING EVENT VARIOUS OF PEOPLE ATTENDING EXHIBITION VARIOUS OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE EXHIBITION VENUE
- Embargoed: 17th September 2017 13:06
- Keywords: Syrians who have disappeared missing Syrians Amnesty exhibition Amnesty International Beirut exhibition
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0016X1JYVP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: An exhibition currently on in the Lebanese capital aims to tell the stories of missing Syrians and their families.
Among those attending the event was 32-year-old Syrian Ahmad Zaghloul who works in the humanitarian field.
He made friends while in prison back home, before moving to Lebanon three years ago.
"Most of those whose names are here are my friends, like Abdulaziz Al Khayer or Bassel Khartabil with whom I was in prison, whom I met in prison for 10 days. It is very important to shed light on disappeared people, whether they are with the regime or on the other side," he said.
Organised by Amnesty International to mark the International Day of the Disappeared on August 30, the exhibition displays items left behind by the missing individuals, as well as poems written by Syrians describing their experience in detention.
Fadwa Mahmoud was imprisoned for two years in 1992 under former President Hafez al-Assad, whose son Bashar has ruled Syria for 17 years.
She sought refuge in Berlin in 2015, three years after searching for her husband Abdulaziz Al Khayer, head of the banned Communist Action Party, and her son Maher Tahan, both arrested near Damascus airport in September 2012.
She urged people to not turn a blind eye to the sufferings of Syrian people.
"People, come and see, there is a very important issue, don't close your eyes to it, look at it, we are putting it under the magnifying glass for you, you should see it and work on it."
Lawyer Noura Ghazi Safadi recently received confirmation her husband, Bassel Kharabil, was dead.
He was arrested in March 2012 and transferred to a prison in Damascus where she visited him for nearly three years. He was again transferred in October 2015 to another place where he was sentenced to death, she said.
"I consider forced disappearance worse than detention, worse than anything, any violation that may happen in the world, because it targets the individual victim as well as his family and beloved ones," she said.
The people whose stories are featured in the exhibition are peace activists, human rights defenders, lawyers and humanitarian workers, Amnesty says. The rights organisation has urged the Syrian government and armed groups to disclose the whereabouts of all the missing people.
'Tens of Thousands' runs in Beirut till September 6. A digital version will be available online on Amnesty's 'Tens of Thousands' website.
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