Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

Syrian Government violations against university students

Killing, torture to death, detention, intimidation, and dismissal from university
Click here to read the report
Period covered: since the beginning of revolution to the date of issue
Prepared by Syrian Network for Human Rights:
Report contexts:
·        Introduction
·        Details
·        Attachment and annexes
·        Legal conclusions
·        Responsibilities
·        Recommendations

Syrian Government and its representatives do not stop their allegation that they are fighting terrorism and AL-Qaeda, but those allegation easily collapse when we talk about the systematic violations against civil society leaders, media activists, and popular movements’ leaders; the most prominent of them are university students who have been arrested, tortured to death, and expelled from university, they form the vast majority of detainees, it explains why undemocratic voices have arisen and spread recently, as the Syrian Regime planned by arresting and killing the real leaders of Syrian Popular Movement.
At the beginning we have to refer to strategic and active role played by university students in Syrian Popular Movement, where they participated in demonstrations, most of media activists, paramedics and physicians are university students, and because of their activities and attitudes Syrian regime focused on them, where according to our estimations at least 35.000 students (male and female) have been arrested in Syrian Regime’s Prisons.
When the struggle against Syrian Regime turned into an armed struggle, hundreds of them turned into fighters in Free Syrian Army and killed in battles.
Government Forces suppressed the revolutionary movement and pursued university students’ activists across the so-called "National Union of Syrian Students", which is an institution of Al-Baath party supervised by Ammar Saati, and includes university students have been recruited as informants in spite of security forces’ elements and Shabiha who are not university students but their mission is to watch, suppress, and penetrate activists’ ranks.
There are also few professor have been recruited to spy on the students, they played basic role in suppressing the students, by taking photos for the students and giving them to security branches and National Union of Syrian Students, where it led to arrest them and expelled them from universities.
In contrast, there were many honorable professors, who stood by the students in the revolutionary movement, defended on them, and exposed themselves to be beaten, humiliated and expulsion from university.
Several committees and coordinations have been formed to organize the revolutionary role of university students and document the daily violations against them and follow their affairs after expulsions from universities, most prominent is Union of Free Syrian Students, in addition to another groupings and formations, who made great effort to protect and care the students outside and outside Syria.

The Report: 
Violations against university students focus in 6 main points:
First: unlawful killings
Second: Detention and torturing to death
Third: expulsions from universities.
Fourth: break into the campus and arrest demonstrators’ students inside.
Fifth: Destroy university buildings and turn some headquarters to military barracks.
Sixth: exploit university students in pro-government marches and suspend their lectures.
First: unlawful killings
SNHR documented at least 1629 university student killed by Government’s Troops including 137 women, and 98 arrested causes of their documentary, media or relief activities and tortured to death.
The following link contains the investigation of 510 cases registered by name, date , college , and the way of death .
Second: Detention and torturing to death:
SNHR estimated number of university students that have been arrested from various governorates with more than 35000 detainees, including 4000 female student. Have been exposed to different types of tortures that we documented in many reports of killing under torture, at least 98 student tortured to death.
Many female student have been tortured and raped inside prisons.
Syrian Network for Human Rights indicate that arresting and torturing were systematic and widespread operations which targeted different universities in the Syrian Governorate, that indicates that it is central decision and we will provide you with examples in all Syrian governorates.
Third: expulsions from universities.
Cause of their participation in revolutionary movement and organizing demonstrations and communicating with media agencies, human rights organizations or relief work, Syrian government arrested thousands of university students whether inside university or in their way back to home and villages, and expulsed them from universities.
Leaked documents of National Union of Syrian Students condemn Syrian Government; it shows request prepared by Albaath Party branch in university and offered to University President to expel students for their participation in demonstrations took place inside universities.    
Another document to expel students participated in anti-government demonstrations
Decision to expel Lattakia university’s students from university housing:
The following attachment contain the name of students that have been expelled from university in different Syrian Governorates, we would like to notify that this is what we could document, although there are thousands of detainees have been arrested from more than one year and didn’t attend universities or examined.
Fourth: break into the campus and arrest demonstrators’ students inside.
Government forces ruthlessly, systematically and widely suppress university students in all of the Syrian Governorate, which indicate that this is central decision, we will provide examples from all the governorate especially Aleppo University that tops all Syrian Universities with its outstanding students’ mobility.
We would like to indicate that the intensive existence to intelligence elements and Shabiha inside the campus to restrict the freedom of the students and monitor their actions and words carefully and strictly.
Samar female student in Aleppo University, she told us on the events of 15 and 16 January 2012
"Intensive existence of security and Shabiha, they had lists for wanted students, each students enter the university they take his identity and compare with their lists"
"The next day students demonstrated condemning the terrible acts of security forces and Shabiha, after a while dozens of Shabiha and security forces broke into University City, they beat many students especially in buildings 11 and 12, then they evacuate buildings 16,18,19 allocated for female students, I got news about rapes happened there, dozens of students got hurts and so many arrested, many students transferred to emergency they were suffering from critical injuries and fractures, after that university management issued an expulsion decree of large number of students cause of these demonstrations." 
SNHR recorded many cases where supervisors and professors contributed in intelligence operations, and in suppressing and insulting university students
As an example of that: Professor Jamal Hamdosh: head of Mathematics Department in Aleppo College of Science contributed in raising intelligence reports on the students, he also assaulted female student with his hand in front of hundreds of eyewitnesses in 19/1/2012, Syrian government doesn’t only recruit Shabiha and security forces, but also teaching stuff as well.
Fifth: Destroy university buildings and turn some headquarters to military barracks.
Government forces committed wide sabotage operation during random shelling and even deliberate shelling as shelling Aleppo University building by missiles, shelling faculty of architectural in Damascus, and during raids of many universities where anti-government demonstrations happened. 
Basel a dental student from Aleppo University told us how security forces and Shabiha brutally broke and sabotage the university.
"When the demonstration ended, students flee from security forces and Shabiha into the campus, they caught on of our colleague and brutally attacked him, so we made a site-inside the faculty and wore our medical gowns, and started exclaim: we want the detainees, they got crazy and tried to raid the building, but they couldn’t cause the door was closed, so they broke the windows and came in from another door, they randomly smashed the contents of the building, arrested another student inside faculty of Medicine and brutally and en masse beat him"
Some universities also turned into military barracks contain tanks, armored vehicles, soldiers and Shabiha
As an example Faculty of petrochemical engineering in Homs University:
The following video from inside the faculty:       

Video shows sabotage of anatomy laboratory of Dentistry Faculty in Aleppo University:
Sixth: exploit university students in pro-government marches and suspend their lectures.
Government forces forced university students to go in marches pro to Bashar Alassad and put his photos, and threatened them with expulsion, arrest and torture.
Samer: a student in University of Aleppo told us how government forces and Shabiha raided his room inside university housing and took him with thousands of his colleagues to march pro to Bashar Alassad.
"I was studding in my room in university housing, we knew a day before that Syrian Government want to organize march to support President Bashar, but I didn’t want to go, I have examination the next day, although I heard a noise inside the building I kept studding, suddenly after almost 20 minutes the door knocked out violently, when I opened I saw soldiers of Army filling corridors and searching rooms one by one, they started insulting and cursing me because I was late, when I told them that  I was studding , they beat me and cursed me, and took us by force to the march square".  
·        Attachment and annexes
First: unlawful killings
The following attachments contain name of the student, college’s name, photo, date and way of kill.
Some of the victims are prominent university activities, well known in their cities and villages; it definitely proves the false allegation that they are fighting terrorism and AL-Qaeda, where the most Syrian Regime’s victims are civilians (almost 90% of the victims) including university students:
Homs Governorate:
Name: Mazhar Mohamad Omar Tayara (was one of the most prominent photographers and publishers of photos and videos)
Year of Birth: 1988
Date of Death: 4/2/2012
Description: live in Inshaat neighborhood, killed in Khaldia by government’s forces bullets, fifth year student at faculty of civil engineering.

Name: Anas Altarsha (was one of the most prominent media activist in Homs)
Year of Birth: 1933
Date of Death: 24/2/2012
Description: first year student of business administration in Al-Qalamoon university, killed cause of mortar shell near him.

Name: Hadi Aljundi (was one of the most prominent peaceful movement in Homs)
Year of Birth: 1989
Date of Death: 8/7/2011
Description: computer institute in Homs University, assassinated by security forces.
Name: Taher Ifdal Alsibai (was organizing protests)
Year of Birth: 1989
Date of Death: 16/10/2011
Description: fifth year architectural engineer in Homs University, killed by security forces bullets in one of the demonstrations
Name: Nawar Morad Agha (activist in reporting news)
Year of Birth: 1989
Date of Death: 6/5/2011
Description: third year English literature, killed by security forces bullets in demonstration in Bab Sibaa neighborhood.
Name: Mohamad Turki Alshihabi (Palestinian)
Year of Birth: 1989
Date of Death: 27/12/2011
Description: fourth year economic in Homs University / Hama branch, killed by Syrian Army in one of the demonstrations.
Hama Governorate:
Name: Baraa Yousef Alboshi (remarkable media activist)
Year of Birth: 1987
Date of Death: 11/8/2012
Description: graduated from Faculty of Information of Damascus University, worked in media and military fields in the revolution, killed cause of sniper bullet in Altal city
Name: Female student Rayan Aljesri
Description: killed cause of shelling Aleppo University by government forces
Name: Bahaa Maatok (joined Free Syrian Army)
Year of Birth: 1991
Date of Death: 10/1/2013
Description: student at physical education college , killed in clashes with government forces cause he joined FSA
Name: Mohamad Khalifa (defect Syrian Army and joined Free Syrian Army)
Year of Birth: 1991
Date of Death: 17/12/2012
Description: killed in clashes with government forces after he defected Syrian Army and joined FSA, he is secondary students in Wajih Baroudi institute of computer technology and electronics.

Damascus Governorate:
Name: female student Israa Toama
Description: architectural engineer student, killed by sniper bullet.

Damascus Governorate:
Name: Omar Ziad Alhaj Ali
Year of Birth: 1988
Description: architectural engineer student, killed cause of shelling on architectural college in Damascus.
Name: Zoabi Jihad Alzoabi
Year of Birth: 1990
Date of Death: 22/12/2012
Description: killed by government forces bullets on Damascus-Daraa highway, he is a student in Arab International University  
Name: Ahmad Jamal Masalmah
Year of Birth: 1991
Date of Death: 23/12/2012
Description: killed by government forces’ bullets while he was going to his University by bus, he is a business student at Yarmouk University.
Lattakia Governorate:
Name: Khalil Siraj
Year of Birth:
Date of Death: 4/9/2012
Description: third year Arabic literature, joined FSA and killed in clashes with government forces.
Second: Detention and torturing to death:
On the following link you can find all requested details:
Most prominent activist have been tortured in different Syrian Governorate:
Name: female student Rihab Mohamad Alalawi
Date of death: 15/2/2013
Description: tortured to death in Military Security Branch in Homs
Name: Ahmad Mahmod Alahmad Alshikh 
Description: fifth year electronic and communication engineer, tortured to death by Syrian Security in Homs\
Name: Abdullah Albaba
Year of Birth: 1984
Date of death: 15/11/2012
Description: tortured to death by Syrian Security /Alkhatib branch.
Name: Mohamad Turkmani
Description: tortured to death after more than100 days of arresting
Name: Ayham Mostafa Ghazol
Year of birth: 1987
Date of Death: 9/11/2012
Description: Dental student, tortured to death in Air security branch/ Damascus.
Name: creative student Mohamad Rabea Turkmani, second year power engineer.
Have been arrested from his house in Baba Amr in 3/10/2011 and handed over his body to his family in 2/1/2012.
Photo of the body of Mohamad and signs of torture appears on.
Name: Tamer Badarin
Description: Jordanian Medicine student was studying in Teshreen University in Latttakia, arrested and killed in Syrian Regimes’ Prisons 
Name: Hana Shariqi
Date of Death: 1/1/2012
Description: mechatronic engineer student killed in a Security branch  
Name: Hasan Hamad Azhari
Year of birth: 1988
Date of Death: 17/5/2011
Description: Pharmacy student at Teshreen University in Lattakia, tortured to death in security branch in Damascus.
Fourth: break into the campus and arrest demonstrators’ students inside.
Aleppo governorate:
Place: Aleppo University
Date: 3/5/2012
Description: raiding University City by Government Forces:
Description: raiding University City by Government Forces:
Shooting inside University City:
Place: Aleppo University- Electrical Faculty
Date: 30/4/2012
Description: raiding Electric Faculty by Government Forces and Shabiha:
Place: Aleppo University- Dentistry Faculty
Date: 1/3/2012
Description: raiding Dentistry Faculty by Government Forces and Shabiha:
Place: Aleppo University- the Tenth Unite
Date: 2/4/2012
Description: raiding the Tenth Unite by Government Forces and Shabiha:
Place: Aleppo University
Date: 9/4/2012
Description: Arrested student and beat him in Dentistry Faculty:
Place: Aleppo University- Art roundabout
Date: 23/4/2012
Description: using tear gases heavily to disperse demonstrators.
Place: Aleppo – University City
Date: 10/4/2012
Description: military vehicle inside campus and security element fired and threaten students revenge.
Place: Aleppo University- Electrical Faculty
Date: 30/4/2012
Description: blockade Electric Faculty by Government Forces and Shabiha:
Place: Aleppo University
Date: 30/5/2012
Description: attack Government Forces and Shabiha on the students.
Place: Aleppo University- Electrical Faculty
Date: 30/5/2012
Description: Government Forces and Shabiha attack the students at the entrance of the University:
Place: Aleppo University
Date: 17/5/2012
Description: Government Forces and Shabiha attack students and beat student brutally in the presence of observers.
Place: Aleppo University
Date: 20/12/2011
Description: Government Forces and Shabiha attacked the students with bombs:
Homs Governorate:
Place: Homs – University housing
Date: 11/9/2011
Description: raiding the campus by government forces and Shabiha.
Hama Governorate:
Place: Albaath University – Hama branch
Date: 31/7/2011
Description: government forces and Shabiha centered on the surface of university building.
Place: Institutes complex
Date: 18/12/2011
Description: Government forces and Shabiha raid the complex and arrested many students.
Place: Institutes complex
Date: 23/10/2011
Description: random arrested of students by Government forces and Shabiha.
Daraa Governorate:
Place: Economic Faculty
Date: 31/10/2011
Description: attack on demonstrations by Government forces and Shabiha.
Dier ez-Zoor Governorate:
Place: Art Faculty
Date: 20/12/2011
Description: attack the demonstrations by Government forces and Shabiha and arrest students.
Hasakac Governorate:
Place: Civil Engineering Faculty
Date: 5/4/2012
Description: raid the campus by Government forces and Shabiha vehicles to suppress the demonstration.
Damascus Countryside Governorate:
Place: International University for Science and Technology
Date: 1/11/2011
Description: Government forces and Shabiha vehicles attack the students:
Place: International University for Science and Technology
Date: 15/11/2011
Description: Barbaric arrested for the students inside the campus and attack them by Shabiha:
Place: Yarmouk Privet University YPU
Date: 21/10/2012
Description: using Yarmouk University as a shield to shell Al Lajat area
Place: Yarmouk Privet University YPU
Date: 16/11/2011
Description: government forces and Shabiha raided university housing.
Place: Yarmouk Privet University YPU
Date: 16/11/2011
Description: broken glasses cause the attack of government forces and Shabiha on university and students.
Place: Yarmouk Privet University YPU
Date: 16/11/2011
Description: wounded student:
Fifth: Destroy university buildings and turn some headquarters to military barracks.
Aleppo: raid the rooms of female students in University City and smash many of them.
Government forces and Shabiha raid Al-Qalamoon University building in Damascus countryside and smashed the glass, video shows blood:
Security forces and Shabiha attacked Syrian Privet University’s buses located on Daraa highway in 15/11/2011.
Government forces and Shabiha sabotaged Syrian Privet University
Legal Conclusions:
International Human Rights law strictly prohibited Right Not to be Arbitrarily Deprived of Life; that’s mean restrict the governmental authorities from arbitrary execution : "the killing of a person perpetrated by an agent of the state or any other person acting under Government authority"
International Humanitarian Law prohibited direct attack against civilians in both international and non-international armed conflicts, these violations subject to prosecution according to IHL and including International Criminal Court.
The willful attacking on civilian buildings devoted to religious, education, art, science, or charitable purposes, and historic monuments, is considered a war crime according to the Rome Statute.
Torture during armed conflict is a violation of international humanitarian law as a violation of international criminal law. Do not allow limitations on the prohibition of torture. International humanitarian law and frankly prohibits torture and cruel treatment of people who are not taking part in hostilities.

Rape is a war crime according to the Rome Statute, as well as could constitute a crime against humanity if it is part of a widespread or systematic attack on a civilian population.
Article 9 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prohibited arbitrary arrest or detention:" No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law”
"Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgment".
"Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful"
"Imprisonment or severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of of fundamental rules of international law" and the practice of enforced disappearances per se, as crime against humanity: when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack ».
Based on the forgoing we conclude with no doubt that Government Forces and Shabiha committed widespread and systematic attack in all of the Syrian Governorates various crimes against university students such as unlawful killings and killings under torture, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, which considered as crimes against humanity,
They also practiced looting, sabotage and turning university buildings into military barracks, which considered as a various types of war crimes committed under a non-international armed conflict.
The size and nature of the attacks on universities in different governorates, and the excessive force used constantly, in addition to coordinated nature of the attacks, led to fully convince that it was pursuant to the policy of the state.

Syrian Government:
1-             Immediate stop of all human rights violations
2-             Respect its international obligations of Protection Civilian in Time of War, and respect the rules of international humanitarian law and international law of human rights
Human Rights Council:
1-             Demand the Security Council and the concerned international institutions to hold their responsibilities towards what happening to the Syrian people of killing, arrest, rape, and displacing.
2-             Pressure on the Syrian Government Troops to stop torturing and killing and demand to release of all hostages.
3-             Hold alias and supporters of the Syrian Government Troops: Russia, Iran and China, the moral and responsibilities for the Syrian Government Troops excesses in this regard
4-             Pay more and serious attentions to the catastrophic situation of victims’ families
Security Council:
1-             Decision to refer all the criminals and the involved to ICC
2-             Warn the Syrian Government Troops of the repercussions of violent behavior and systematic killings on the stability of civil peace and coexistence between the people of the same society and send clear messages about it.
Arab League:
1-             Demand Human Right Council and United Nations to give the issue of stop daily killing the right attention and follow up
2-             Political and diplomatic pressure on the Syrian Government Troops’ main allies – Russia, Iran and China – to prevent them from continuous providing cover and international and political protection for all the crimes committed against the Syrian people and hold them moral and physical responsibility for all the excesses of the Syrian Government Troops
3-             Serious attention of this case and give it high priority, and try to take care of victims’ families


International Commission of Inquiry:

The International Commission of Inquiry to stop describing the conflicts as conflict between two equal parties committing the same crimes, and have equal powers and centralized decision, and to describe the facts and crimes as it is without alleviate for political purposes, and to increase the members of the Committee specialists affairs Syrian commensurate with the size of the daily violations, to enable it for more comprehensive documentation" 
Syrian Network for Human Rights – London
Website: www.syrianhr.org
Email: press@syrianhr.org
Skype: Syrianhr