We are a Syrian team speaking for the victims of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance and their suffering in Syria. We use advocacy tools to help save those who are still alive in the prisons and detention centers of the Syrian regime before the Assad killing machine exterminates them through starvation, torture, disease or medical negligence.
Our team includes survivors and former detainees as well as human rights advocates and civil activists.
A Brief History of STR
Most people hearing about the situation in Syria fail to understand it when Syrians say that death is not the worst that could happen in Syria under Assad. By saying so, they are referring to the atrocities committed against detainees including torture, brutalization, humiliation and starvation sometimes leading to death after a long journey of torment.
Many detention survivors continue to be obsessed by a persisting question about the fate of their fellow detainees whom they left behind in the darkness of the regime prisons and at its mercy. They know full well that as time ticks away there, it constantly harvests lives and passes away very slowly as detainees know no rest neither do their families whose hearts tremble as those who imprison their loved ones deprive them from even knowing their fate or whereabouts. So families live in fear and apprehension which they wish would come to an end every day. Then Caesar defected and leaked horrific pictures from the dungeons of Assad regime prisons shedding unprecedented light on that world otherwise shrouded in darkness, silence and death.
As the fate of detention victims remains unknown and as they and their families continue to yearn for their liberation, the idea of Save The Rest came about in early 2015 by a group of activists and former detainees to call for the disclosure of the fate of detainees, saving those who are still alive and holding those responsible for crimes against them to account. The first round of the campaign incurred significant impact and broad participation by a number of activists and various Syrian human rights organizations concerned with detainees. The activities involved a number of solidarity sit-ins in various cities around the world and a social media campaign which communicated the voice and demands of detainees in addition to publishing a number of leaked letters from detainees still in Assad’s prisons as well as sending out letters including the demands of the campaign to a number of relevant international and human rights bodies and figures. After the success of the first round of the campaign and as the suffering of detainees in Assad’s prisons continued, the founding team decided to carry on with the campaign and work in various advocacy activities especially communication with international bodies and communicating detainees’ voices and demands in addition to the media effort which peaks around the various waves of the campaign which have ever since took place every three to six months.
Every day that our campaign continues, time overruns us harvesting more lives which the campaign aims to save. Working on the issue of detainees is by definition a race with time and with those at whose mercy the detainees are. However, perseverance and hope of our detainees obliges us to carry on and persist in our work until they gain their freedom and justice.