Syria war deepens fears for Lebanon’s missing

Comment: Off

In this Thursday April 10, 2014 photo, Lebanese Mary Mansourati, 82, whose son Dani went missing in Syria in 1992 at the age of 30, show his portrait during an interview with the Associated Press at her house, in Beirut, Lebanon. Dani is among an estimated 17,000 Lebanese still missing from the time of Lebanon’s civil war or the years of Syrian domination that followed. Syria’s civil war has added new urgency to the plight of their families, many of whom are convinced their loved ones are still alive and held in Syrian prisons, at risk of being lost or killed in the country’s mayhem. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

In this Thursday April 10, 2014 photo, Lebanese Mary Mansourati, 82, whose son Dani went missing in Syria in 1992 at the age of 30, show his portrait during an interview with the Associated Press at her house, in Beirut, Lebanon. Dani is among an estimated 17,000 Lebanese still missing from the time of Lebanon’s civil war or the years of Syrian domination that followed. Syria’s civil war has added new urgency to the plight of their families, many of whom are convinced their loved ones are still alive and held in Syrian prisons, at risk of being lost or killed in the country’s mayhem. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

In this Thursday April 10, 2014 photo, Lebanese Mary Mansourati, 82, whose son Dani went missing in Syria in 1992 on the age of 30, shows one of his shirts from his bedroom cupboard, during an interview with the Associated Press at her house, in Beirut, Lebanon. Dani is among an estimated 17,000 Lebanese still missing from the time of Lebanon’s civil war or the years of Syrian domination that followed. Syria’s civil war has added new urgency to the plight of their families, many of whom are convinced their loved ones are still alive and held in Syrian prisons, at risk of being lost or killed in the country’s mayhem. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

In this Thursday April 10, 2014 photo, Lebanese Mary Mansourati, 82, reflects on her son Dani who went missing in Syria in 1992 at the age of 30, his portrait seen at left, as she speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at her house, in Beirut, Lebanon. Dani is among an estimated 17,000 Lebanese still missing from the time of Lebanon’s civil war or the years of Syrian domination that followed. Syria’s civil war has added new urgency to the plight of their families, many of whom are convinced their loved ones are still alive and held in Syrian prisons, at risk of being lost or killed in the country’s mayhem. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla) (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Lebanese Mary Haddad, 67, right, whose son Elie, a Lebanese army soldier, went missing in 1993 sits with Janet Youssef, 48, sister of Milad Youssef who was also a Lebanese army soldier and disappeared in 1983, outside a tent called the “missing tent” which was set up nine years ago for an ongoing sit-in by the relatives of the missing, in front the U.N headquarters, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Friday April 11, 2014. Elie and Milad are among an estimated 17,000 Lebanese still missing from the time of Lebanon’s civil war or the years of Syrian domination that followed. Syria’s civil war has added new urgency to the plight of their families, many of whom are convinced their loved ones are still alive and held in Syrian prisons, at risk of being lost or killed in the country’s mayhem. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

A banner shows small portraits of people reported missing during the Lebanese civil war and aftermath, during the ninth anniversary of an ongoing sit-in, in front the U.N headquarters in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Friday April 11, 2014. An estimated 17,000 Lebanese are still missing from the time of Lebanon’s civil war or the years of Syrian domination that followed. Syria’s civil war has added new urgency to the plight of their families, many of whom are convinced their loved ones are still alive and held in Syrian prisons, at risk of being lost or killed in the country’s mayhem. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Buy AP Photo Reprints

BEIRUT (AP) — For 22 years, Mary Mansourati has been waiting for her son, Dani, to come home. His shirts are ironed and hanging in his closet. His trousers, neatly folded, are stacked on the shelves next to his bed in the family’s Beirut apartment.

Dani was 30 when he was detained by Syrian intelligence and has not been heard from since. He is among an estimated 17,000 Lebanese still missing from Lebanon’s civil war or the years of Syrian domination that followed.

The war in Syria has added new urgency to the plight of their families. Hundreds of Lebanese were detained by the Syrians, and their relatives are convinced they are still alive. Now they fear they will be lost in Syria’s labyrinth of overcrowded jails and detention facilities or be killed in the ongoing mayhem.

The war in Syria has also added a new generation of names to the already long rolls of the missing. There are no exact figures, but human rights organizations say tens of thousands of Syrians have vanished in the three years since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began.

Elsewhere in the region, nearly 70,000 Iraqis are still missing from three wars over the past three decades, including sectarian bloodletting that was unleashed by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, according to government figures.

There’s never been any truth or reconciliation process that might uncover the fates of these missing. In both Lebanon and Iraq, few efforts have been made to examine what happened during the countries’ wars, mainly because many of those involved in killings and kidnappings have become politicians, some even serving in government.

The 82-year-old Mansourati believes her son is alive in a Syrian prison, despite having no concrete

Comments

comments

About the Author