Regime’s Interior Ministry issues instructions to its units to avoid resorting to torture

Minister of Interior in the regime’s government, Mohammad al-Rahmoun, during his meeting with officers and heads of security branches in his ministry - May 25, 2024 (Ministry of Interior/Facebook)

Minister of Interior in the regime’s government, Mohammad al-Rahmoun, during his meeting with officers and heads of security branches in his ministry - May 25, 2024 (Ministry of Interior/Facebook)


The Ministry of Interior in the regime’s government issued a circular to police units in its controlled areas, urging them to adhere to laws that guarantee the rights of arrested suspects and to inform their families of their whereabouts with the authority that apprehended them.

The ministry’s circular, published today, Monday, April 27, on Facebook, urged avoiding physical or mental torture (humiliation, coercion, threats, verbal abuse) during investigations to extract forced confessions, as they violate the constitution and the law that criminalizes all forms of torture.

In its report last Thursday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) documented the death of at least 29 people due to torture and the arrest of 534 civilians, including 8 children and 21 women, in the past six months, following the decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which requires the Syrian regime to take all measures to prevent acts of torture.

The ministry’s circular also included a call for constructive cooperation with the judicial body and adherence to the legal periods for detention and investigation, in addition to not resorting to requesting an extension of the investigation for long periods except in serious criminal offenses, and compliance with all decisions and circulars related to this matter.

It also called for caution in dealing with information received from informants, criminals, and arrested persons during their investigation, verifying the accuracy of the information before taking any action based on it.

The circular limited the use of broadcasting search notices to those against whom significant evidence is available regarding their involvement in the crime under investigation, and restricted broadcasting the search only through the five-key system with a national number, after ensuring their identity and involvement in the crime, and not merely relying on confessions from individuals without supporting evidence and information, and obtaining judicial approval to continue the effects of the search notice, and avoiding misuse of the civil affairs window to complete the data of those being searched by randomly selecting names unrelated to the crime.

The circular, signed by Minister of Interior Mohammad al-Rahmoun, also included monitoring and controlling migrant smuggling networks exploiting citizens’ needs to travel illegally outside the country, and intensifying efforts to tackle some crimes that have recently increased, such as the theft of electrical and telephone cables, car and home thefts, and pickpocketing and robbery crimes committed using smuggled motorcycles.

The circular also addressed intensifying patrols, especially in areas likely to be transit routes for drug shipments in border areas, and areas where drugs may be promoted and used within Syria.

On May 25, the Ministry of Interior in the Syrian regime issued a decision not to broadcast searches for persons unless there is evidence proving their involvement in a crime.

According to the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), al-Rahmoun emphasized the necessity of enhancing patrols, gathering information, accuracy in police unit work, investigating crimes, and only broadcasting searches for individuals against whom there is evidence proving their involvement in the crime, not merely relying on confessions against them without evidence, and avoiding issuing review notifications against persons without sufficient justifications for that.

The decision comes as part of what the regime presents as measures and changes in decisions and decrees, creating changes in certain systems within the military institution, which has been portrayed as attempts at changes within some of the institutions it controls.

These changes, which contradict the regime’s norms, preceded the negotiations between it and multiple entities entering a dark tunnel, especially with developments in Gaza since October 7, 2023, and the reset of interests and priorities following those developments. There has been no progress in the Jordanian Initiative for a solution in Syria, no imminent political openings for the regime, the rapprochement with Ankara has collapsed, and the current situation and border tensions do not reflect signs of openness.


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