Syrians Are Not Numbers

13 April 2015

Hundreds of Syrians all over the world posted photos of themselves with numbers on their foreheads in an attempt to humanize the thousands of victims that were killed at the hands of Assad security forces.

The Syrians are not Numbers campaign came in response to the horrifying crimes that came to light with photos leaked from inside regime prisons showing 11,000 detainees killed under torture, with nothing identifying them but a number on their foreheads.

A drawing from the campaign.
A drawing from the campaign.

"It's paralyzing to see your friend or relative become another statistic," one of the campaign's operators articulates, "These ‘tortured to death’ martyrs are not just numbers, each one of them had a name, a story to tell and a family to go back to."

Nevertheless, activists transformed this paralyzing horror into a viral solidarity campaign that began with personal efforts from Mais Edward and Eiad Charbaji, who live in Sweden and the US, respectively.

Activists consider these photos, which were put on display at the United Nations HQ in New York, the strongest juridical file condemning the Syrian regime. They started communicating with the families of torture victims, especially those who hold dual nationalities, to encourage them to pursue criminal lawsuits against the Syrian regime in their new countries.

"We are not numbers", by Hani Abbas.
"We are not numbers", by Hani Abbas.

“It’s the only way to get around the Russian and Chinese veto against issuing any condemnation from the Security Council," explains one of the activists, "The world should stop counting victims and do something about it."

Syrians are not Numbers is working to put more pressure on international bodies and organizations to save the rest of Syrian detainees, who are in danger of losing their lives in Assad’s prisons at any given moment.

This work is under a Creative Commons license. Attribution: Non commercial - ShareAlike 4.0. International license

Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad