"I Am not Just a Number" Campaign

05 June 2015

Knowing that no one really knows the exact number of those who are detained, arrested or kidnaped by the regime makes it really hard to be able to highlight all of their cases. Very few of them actually got their stories out and were able to represent a little part of what goes around in the dark areas of the regime. The rest of the detainees became numbers that tend to show up on the news. However, every one of them is a story, every one of them is a person who belongs to a family, he/she have friends and interest. Some maybe have a pet or maybe a favorite show on TV; normal people and stories. The news, however, tend to only focus on the main big issue and as there is so much to cover on the Syrian sides, the detainees became numbers only. While that is happening still, facebook and other social media sites gave the Syrians themselves the tools to use for highlighting stories and issues that they face, one of these issues happened to be the "I am Not Just a Number" campaign.

On August 31st 2012 a facebook page was created for the "I am Not Just a Number" campaign. The facebook page called for people to participate in different events that were taking place in different places around the world (like The Unites States, Europe and some other countries in the regain.) The events were to support the detainees and to raise their issues throughout different ideas that took place every Sunday.

A Sunday of every week Syrians would gather and would do something to raise the issue, like lighting candles, forming a flash mob or through art exhibitions that took place in art galleries or in the streets with posters of similar ideas in different languages highlighting the way the detainees are treated inside the dark basements of the regime, or raising up a sign with real numbers with real sorties of women and children (under the age of 14) who are detained and are exposed to different kind of torture by the regime. These kinds of events took place in front of Human right organizations in western cities trying to create a pressure on them to pass that down to their government who might be able to stop some of this through politics.

On the other hand, a lot of different groups that are located in Syria worked on the campaign during the month of Sept of 2012; one of the groups where "a revolution and a half". They worked on a graffiti campaign that went a long with the "I am not just a Number" campaign to call for the release of the detainees. The graffiti took place while another protest was going on under the name of "Damascus and Damascus suburbs, the blood flows and no one cares about any child who is torture).

To further achieve the goal of the campaign of letting each story for each detainees out, of erasing them as numbers and instead let them be known as names and stories, like they are in real life, the organizers of the campaign put together a from to report through it about any case that anyone might know of. A story of a person or a group of people who got detained by the Syrian regime and are unknown yet. The report from (link here) shall be used by the family and friends of the person to record and archive the case and not have it be lost or the person’s rights defused. The form is to be sent to the Syrian European Human right organization. The Syrian European Human rights organization is an organization who is based in France and is managed by the lawyer Qwsay Moslmani.

What needs to be filled in the form is to achieve the main goals of the campaign:

1) to archive and record all the crimes the regime has/is/will do according to international laws and human rights standards. This recording doesn’t just apply to the current detainees but also to those who were released.

2) To make it easier for the activists and lawyers who work inside Syria to help the family of the detainees to get them out and know what their case is and what is the legal route to take in order to achieve their safety by applying a force on the regime.

Finally, until the Syrians get to their higher goal of the Freedom the "I am not Just a Number" campaign will still and always be a group responsibility and a great deal to support those who are detained and disappeared behind bars without any real justice or charges against them.

To email the campaign:  [email protected]

The facebook page of the campaign: https://www.facebook.com/Syrian.Detainees.not.Numbers

The twitter page of the campaign: https://twitter.com/NotJustNumber



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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad