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Missing – Testimonies of Syrian Women Deprived of Liberty
June 28, 2019

After an eight-year revolt against the Syrian Regime of Bashar Assad, a secret system of arbitrary arrests and abuse has been developed, sending hundreds of thousands into prisons. Nearly 128,000 Syrians have disappeared and are presumed to be either dead or still in custody.
The U.S. Mission is proud to have partnered with the EU Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva on an event to focus attention on the dire situation of detainees, missing persons and their families and relatives in Syria, in particular women amongst them, who suffer the most grievous violations and abuse.

Opening Remarks by:

Ambassador Walter Stevens, Head of the EU Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva
Roger D. Carstens – United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (Text of Remarks)

Moderated by:

Meskerem Geset Techane, Chair of the Working Group on Discrimination against Women


Yasmeen Benshi is an activist and a human rights defender from Latakia and currently the Executive Director of Yasmeen Al Horyia Human Rights and Development, established 2016 in Turkey by a group of jurists and activists who survived prison. She spent a year in prison where she was subjected to torture.
Sema Nassar is a human rights defender, working on documenting violence against women, arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance in Syria. She is the Executive Director and co-founder of “Urnammu for Justice and Human Rights”, and co-founder of the “WE” network, a framework to create a safe environment for WHRD in the MENA region.
Yasmeen Mohammed is a Syrian Kurdish activist from Afrin. She was detained in 2013 after a peaceful demonstration. She is currently a political refugee in Germany.
Dania Yacoub is a PhD candidate and a former political detainee. She is currently a refugee in Hamburg and Director of the Women and Children Association “Nastatiaa”.