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Prominent activists confirmed executed by Assad regime in 2013

Women and children stage a protest against Assad Regime's siege to the town of Darayya, Damascus, Syria, 9 March 2016
Women and children stage a protest against Assad Regime's siege to the town of Darayya, Damascus, Syria, 9 March 2016

Hussam El Ahmed /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

This article was originally published on scm.bz in July 2018. 

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression SCM, with utmost sadness, announces the deaths of Yahya Al-Sharbaji and Islam Dabbas, who were confirmed to have been executed on the 15th of January, 2013. The death certificates of both Yahya and his brother Muhammad Al-Sharbaji, aka Ma'an Al-Sharbaji were handed to their family on the 23rd of July, 2018. The family was also informed that Ma'an died on the 13th of December of the same year.

Yahia Al-Sharbaji, who said once “I would rather be murdered than be a murderer.” was murdered after a year and four months of brutal torture; news reported at the time. Al-Sharbaji, one of the leaders of the civil movement in Darayya and co-founder of the Local Coordination Committees, was arrested on the 6th of September, 2011, in an ambush by the Syrian air intelligence forces for his brother. Ghiath Matar was arrested along with the Al-Sharbaji brothers and his body, misshapen by torture, was handed to his family on the 10th of September, 2011.

Yahya Al-Sharbaji and Islam Dabbas were among the most prominent activists of the civil non-violent political movement in Syria for years before the onset the Revolution of Dignity and Freedom in March, 2011. That movement was called “The Peaceful Youth of Darayya”. Al-Sharbaji, born in 1979, had been arrested in May 2003 due to his activity in civil campaigns against corruption and for cleaning the streets, while the country was officially under the emergency law, which prevented any initiative that was not supervised by the Syrian security forces. The emergency law banned the right to free assembly, banned any activity, and banned thinking or dreaming of change. In a country governed by laws that smothered its citizens, a court martial sentenced him to 4 years of imprisonment at Military Prison of Saydnaya. He spent two years and a half, including 4 months in a solitary cell. He was also stripped of his civil rights and the right to travel.

Islam Dabbas was born in 1989 and was murdered in the darkness of Syrian prisons in 2013; however, his death was reported to his family only on the 16th of July, 2018. Dabbas, a student at the Faculty of Architecture, was arrested for his prominent activity, leading the peaceful civil movement in Darayya City, which sided unequivocally with the Revolution of Dignity and Freedom. The Revolution, which started in March, 2011, was unarmed and in order to extinguish it, its peaceful knights, first and foremost Darayya Youth, were to be crushed. Therefore, Islam was arrested on the 22nd of July, 2011, aka the Friday of National Unity.

The complete list of the list of peaceful martyrs, who sacrificed their lives to pave the way for the dream of dignity and freedom, is a long one. Now, the Syrian Government is handing the death certificates to many families to liquidate the file of the detainees in Syrian prisons, in an attempt to prepare for the “reconstruction” phase in which the governments of the world cooperate with the Syrian Government, ignoring one of the most egregious crimes, a crime that will be remembered long in human history. The Syrian government has boasted the crime of “murder by torture” since the beginning, when it handed the bodies of the child Hamza al-Khatib and the Ghiath Matar as a flagrant message of non-tolerance, and remorseless brutality.

The Syrian Government succeeded in all its pursuits, depriving the country of its knights and dreams, and paving the road to the future years and future elections with the skulls of youth. Who could save this country from the dreadful memories and from a future built by warlords, not by men of wisdom and peace?

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