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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Fail "Caesar" Part 6-A: Most Abductions Unreported?

Fail "Caesar" Part 6-A: Most Abductions Unreported?
February 15, 2016
last edits April 24, 2016

<< Part 6: Evidence the Victims were NOT Prisoners of the Government

Few Claimed IDs vs. Major Unreported Abductions
M.K. al-Tout, an unnoted abductee
The SNHR's report explained "We were able to identify the identity of 772 victims including a woman; [of] which 123 victims were recorded in our database before Caesar’s photos were published." That was in October, 2015. So the SNHR had 772 identities offered, 8 months after the photos were released and a mass of identifications came in.

This is out of an estimated 6,700 or so total. It seems most of these came within the first couple of weeks, which would be strange given the huge volume of photos to search and unclear organization. As we'll see partly below, the purported identifications and back-stories are not very impressive as far as reliability and realism. And however good these nearly 800 claimed IDs are, there are still about 6,000 men and boys without even such a story offered.

Before the, only 123 had been reported to the SNHR - and apparently they mean at all, as dead or arrested. 123 out of about 6,700 is a very poor record for a supposed human rights watchdog.  It seems other groups were similarly quiet about the alleged mass abductions.

This lack of timely reporting has two main, possible reasons:
1) the arrest was so secret, or the victim so unknown or disconnected from opposition activist circles, they never heard about it
2) rebels abducted them, a crime category which opposition sources (at least VDC and SNHR) don't regularly note or catalog

Specific Cases
Not all ID sources are necessarily suspect, but neither are they gospel. I've only closely considered a few cases closely...

* Dr. Mohammed Zakariya Naddaf (Kisweh) - a professor of Islamic law, said to be arrested around late June, 2013, along with his wife and "family." It's said his wife was released but Dr. Naddaf was killed one year later, just before an amnesty he was supposed to be included in. But that claim is dubious and his death photos is from July 7, 2013, at latest. And no one in the opposition apparently mentioned his arrest until the false reports in 2014

* Mohammed al-Tout (Douma)  - arrested October 2012 while taking his daughter to the hospital, just driving on a street, not even being a rebel fighter - apparently not reported at the time by opposition sources, or for 2 years after, but recognized in the SAFMCD face shots by someone almost immediately in March, 2015 - from Douma, increasingly Islamist-dominated, where people of his rare family name have suffered continued bad luck with abductions and suspicious deaths.

* Majid Abu Draa (Dummar) - listed as killed by two different MI branches, around June/July 2012 but apparently not quite - he was probably found still alive. He was never reported arrested; VDC lists a total of 4 Abu Draa men, all from Dummar, arrested: 2 are listed as detainees, blamed on the government, with no word about deaths. The other two just implicitly had to be locked-up - they aren't listed that way, but Majid and a likely relative, Alaa Abu Draa, were identified in the Caesar photos March 9 and 20.

Comparative Overview: Loyalist vs. Opposition Claims
To be fair, there are no known claims on these openly-available photos coming from the other side.

The Justice Ministry said the victims included soldiers and civilians killed by "terrorists," implicitly after detention by the foreign-supported fighters. But no one has backed this with a single public identification.

Sad as it is, the opposition IDs are the best ones publicly offered - so far. But that's not very re-assuring, as the the above cases show.

Reported Arrests: When?
Secret deaths in an allegedly secret prison system only make sense, but what's troubling is how few of the initial arrests were noticed and publicized by the opposition, at the time it allegedly happened. Records of the opposition VDC paint a similar picture - dozens of victims identified from March, 2015 forward, with only a few  now-identified victims (Rihab Allawi, Ayham Ghazoul, Hussam Sureym, Iyad Dabbas, etc.) tended to have some opposition credentials and/or have been reported arrested (not missing - it was always known who did it).

However, just when even these detention reports were lodged is unclear. I checked a few cases for when it was actually entered in the VDC database.

Khaled al-Eter
Martyr entry: Nader Khaled al-Eter. (includes photo, which also has a SAFMCD match:  215-3158 folder 7-6-2013). As usual, detention date isn't known (probably because it was never reported), but at least there is a VDC detainee entry for him: Detention Date: 2012-01-01 -- Release Date: 2015-04-18 -- Notes: "Detention date is inaccurate. The release date is the martyrdom date. He was martyred under torture in regime prisons." Also, martyrdom date is inaccurate - as usual, it's the date in 2015 when the VDC heard about the ID. To be in the "Caesar" photos he must've been dead prior to August 2013.

When did they add this to the entry? And when was the entry created? At the unknown detention time? Not likely ... Entry # can be a clue: Mr. Eter is detainees/67397. detainees/67398 says arrested 2014-1-1. 67396 and 67399 are the same. However 67394 says "The Deputy of Chairman of Kurdish National Council in Syria ENKS" was arrested by whoever on 2015-11-20, and released the same day. It was probably also the same day that Mr. Eter was finally noted by the VDC as a citizen in trouble.

So, Eter must have been added about this time or later - November 20, 2015, noting an ID made in April. They apparently heard he was arrested back in 2012, date unspecified so left blank (Jan. 1). This was the first VDC heard about it, at least 3 years after the fact.

Mohammed Jneid al-Qiq
Muhammad Jneed Al-Qiq - VDC martyr entry - from Daraa, Dam Road neighborhood. Date of death 2015-03-10, Notes: Martyred under torture in the regime`s prisons, Date of death unknown accurately." March 10 is, again, when they heard about yet another super-quick ID of a dead guy. He's an odd case, looking okay except for yellow fluid oozing out his nose. The fuller photo shows he's had a CV catheter installed , suggesting he was alive at the hospital (see 6-C).

As usual, he was listed as arrested after being noted as dead. VDC detainee entry: Muhammad Jneed Al-Qiq
Detention Date 2013-03-14
Release Date 2015-03-08
Notes Detention date is inaccurate. The martyr date is inaccurate. The release date is the martyrdom date. He was martyred under torture in regime prisons. Did not hand over his body to his family. 

65036 - this will be about 240 entries earlier than the November 2015 one above. Before him appear several seeming "Caesar" photo victims they heard about at the same time (maybe in one bag batch, collected by some sub-contractor?) All are mainly from Deraa and Daraya, and say "was martyred under torture in regime prisons." The supposed family they heard from - very late in the game - say they never got the body back: "Did not hand over his body to his family."
* 65035: Detention Date 2013-03-13  Release Date 2015-03-08
* 65034 Detention Date 2013-03-14 Release Date 2015-03-08
* 65033 Detention Date 2013-03-21 Release Date 2015-03-08
* 65024
* 65020 Release Date 0000-00-00  He was seen in Rubaya in Homs in 2-2-2015.

So ... arrested maybe in mid-March 2013 along with these others, and killed at an unclear time before August 20 ...  However, his SAFMCD entry conflicts - victim 003 of who knows, folder 11-2011 - November 2011, one year, four months before that incorrect arrest date on March 14.Which was based on ... what? Perhaps a family member saying "He was arrested almost to years ago." But he was dead more than a year before that. And no one reported anything until he was identified in the photos, and/or by the time this was reported in November. Silence span: 3 years, 4 months up to four years.

Plus ... ???
How many others like Hussam and even Rihab had their arrests noted so late? That would take some more digging to answer. But there are likely some -and probably close to the 123 initially recorded by the similar SNHR. In general, the remaining 6,500 or so victims could be anything, depending on what the better evidence indicates.

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