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Report: 3,000 people missing in Syrian uprising

One person is disappearing in Syria every hour according to research by global campaigning organisation.

A citizen journalism image made on a mobile phone shows anti-regime protesters gathered in the western city of Hama, Syria, 22 July 2011.
A citizen journalism image made on a mobile phone shows anti-regime protesters gathered in the western city of Hama, Syria, 22 July 2011.
Image: AP Photo/Shaam News Network

A GLOBAL CAMPAIGNING organisation says that almost 3,000 people have gone missing in Syria since the start of the uprising against President Bashar Assad more than four months ago.

A survey by the online activist group Avaaz estimates that one person is disappearing in Syria every hour. The group released the survey results in a statement on Thursday.

It says it has identified 2,918 Syrians arrested by security forces whose whereabouts are now unknown. “Hour by hour, peaceful protesters are plucked from crowds by Syria’s infamously brutal security forces, never to be seen again,” the group’s executive director Ricken Patel told the Guardian.

Patel added that Syria urgently needs the international community to demand the release of the disappeared.

Activists say more than 1,600 people have been killed, most of them unarmed protesters.

Although the uprising began in mid-March with calls for reform, the steadily climbing death toll and slow pace of reform has enraged the protest movement now calling for Assad’s ouster.

International journalists have been largely banned from Syria, this video by Reuters includes amateur footage that gives some indication as to the level of protest taking place in the country.

Additional reporting by the AP

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