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Published on Mar 3, 2015
Since the start of the popular protests in Syria in March 2011, more than 200,000 people have been killed, millions of Syrians have become refugees, while thousands of civilians are reported to have been arrested, detained, abducted, tortured and, in some cases, subjected to enforced disappearance merely for exercising their fundamental rights.
These peaceful actors, among whom are human rights defenders, media, medical and humanitarian workers have been arrested by government forces and pro-government militia or have been abducted by one of the numerous non state armed groups. UN Security Council Resolution 2139, adopted on February 22, 2014, demanded the release of all arbitrarily detained people in Syria. On several occasions the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the Syrian authorities to release all those who have been held by Government forces and its militias. Despite these calls, thousands of civil society activists remain arbitrarily detained or subjected to enforced disappearance.