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Our Mission

Our mission is to uphold justice for Syrian detainees through the documentation of human rights violations against political prisoners, advocacy for the release of detainees, advocacy for an end to torture in Syrian prisons, and providing financial and psychological support to detainees and their families.

Click here to learn more about the history of torture in Syrian prisons and possible international crimes in Syria.

Justice for Detainees in Syria seeks your help in achieving it's short and long-term organizational goals.  Click here to discover ways you can support the work of Justice for Detainees in Syria.  

Your donation to JDS has an immediate impact on our work.  

While the site is new, Justice for Detainees in Syria has been documenting the plight of detained Syrians for over 4 years.  


Check back regularly for more information!

Sweida Prison: سجن السويداء


Sweida Province is located some 60 miles to the south east of the Syrian capital, Damascus. It consists of a number of cities and towns including Sweida city whose central prison hosts more than 1000 prisoners and political detainees.


Around the midnight of August 3, 2016, a fight broke out between security/police guards and the detainees and the accurate reason was not clear. Some claim the fight was triggered when the guards attempted to take some prisoners to be executed; others say the guards insulted detainees while inspecting their dormitories in search for cell phones and the latter responded by controlling the inmates’ wing and declaring rebellion hence causing police officers to flee the place.


A colonel from the political security branch and the prison warden, Hassan Khalaf interfered trying to negotiate with the prisoners and listen to their demands. The latter included: stopping executions, holding the insulting officers accountable, releasing political detainees and reporting all these demands to the Syrian minister of justice. The situations calmed down and seemed to come back to normal in the early morning (4 August).

Today, 5 August, the regime forces stormed the prison in an attempt to end the strike. They fired tear gas into the wing and seriously injured a number of detainees. A few hours later there was a communications blackout and activists and the detainees’ families are extremely concerned over their fate.

Dear Friends,


We would like to invite you to an event sponsored by Justice for Detainees in Syria (JDS) to raise funds for Syrian children whose parents are detained in Syrian prisons.


When: Sunday, July 31, 5:30- 9:00 P.M.

Where: Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 1290 Grafton St, Worcester

Who: Syrian and human rights speakers and music by a great singer/songwriter

Why: To benefit children who are detained with their mothers in Syrian jails.


Please join us for an evening of music, stories and news from Syria with a special focus on helping children who are detained with their mothers in Syrian jails.  There will be Syrian food, raffles, prizes, and activities for children and more.

Justice for Detainees in Syria, (JDS) working with activists and lawyers in Syria to release detainees in Syria, has been  informed by  trusted sources inside Hama's Central Prison that Bashar al Assad's Syrian military forces  stormed and fired tear gas into Hama Central Prison at 6:00 PM Damascus time, on May 6th 2016. This was in response to a prisoner protest against the transfer of five prisoners with death sentences to an unknown location.  Prisoner-led negotiations with the regime broke down and earlier this week the Red Crescent Society intervened and negotiated the release of 30 prisoners from Hama prison.  


The Syrian government's storming of the Hama prison has had an immediately devastating impact on the prisoners and has led to at least 25 cases of suffocation among the prisoners as of now.  In addition, the release of tear gas inside the cells has led to the outbreak of multiple fires inside the prison.  We have been informed that some of the detainees inside are trying to regain calm and help keep each other alive. The Syrian regime's military forces have also started shooting at detainees but  no injuries have been confirmed as yet.  Justice for Detainees in Syria received several videos of the attack in Hama Prison and is able to corroborate the evidence. 


We, Justice for Detainees in Syria Board and staff,  call for the immediate involvement of the International Red Cross; we demand that the IRC enter  the Hama Central Prison immediately in order to save the lives of the detainees who are in desperate need of urgent medical care.  We also call for international human rights organizations to take immediate action  in protecting the lives of detainees inside the Hama Prison. Furthermore, we demand that the United States' delegate to the United Nations support us in stopping this latest crime against humanity committed by the Syrian regime against its own people and against the unarmed detainees.

For the Free Syrians Behind Bars

You, shoulders hunched on cots in prison cells tonight,

you whose bodies are bound in rubber tires

or hung by meat hooks for bludgeoning,

you who are dragged to torture tables by your hair,

to sit with vertebrae force-arched beyond their stresspoints,

may our love reach you tonight. May it come between

the truncheon and your jawbone, may it weaken

every jolt from cable taped to your flesh.

When interrogators finish with you for the night,

may you feel this balm we wipe on your skin: our love,

we anoint you with it. Our cherishing, let it come

to your side, touch your forearm.

Take my pillow; I’ve little use for it;

I see your faces, and my eyelids open:



Hanadi, Yahya, Deya, Majd,  Ziad,

Ahmad, Malak, Omar, Ghassan,

Maan, Rafah, Hazem, Guevara, Amr, 

Marwa, Tareq, Anas, Juwan,

Shadi, Raji, Mohammad, Alaa, Moaz,

Emad, Bilal, Ali, Talal, Amer, Zain, Tal, Tahama,

Osama, Yaqub Hanna Shamoun, Ahmad Thani Abazid,

and every other prisoner,  especially those yet unnamed,

unlisted anywhere, snatched by dictatorship’s police

without a word reaching family or neighbors,

without an online page to tell the story,

do not think you are alone. You are not alone in that stone cell.

We hear your voice, even if you cannot move your lips.



Do not think you are not powerful. You are powerful.

You are the muscle and sinew of truth flexing. Hold on,

my brothers, my sisters. You are whole humans among those

who dwarf their humanity, bent

to tasks of hatred, crooked, spent. You

throb with life and love.

You are precious to us: that loopy grin,

your high-elbowed billiards shot, the thumbpad you lick

before you deal the cards for trumps, the cheeks

your children or parents kiss, the wholesome organs

by which you had or may have children.



We are scrabbling with our hands

through barbed wire to get to you. Whisper to us,

even if you cannot move your lips. We hear you. Sip a bit

of this love we pour for you; let it be sweet as Ayn Fijeh

water on your tongue. We would bring it in our hands for you.

Our hands clasp your hands, pulling. Hold on tight.


Mohja Kahf



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