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US Congress TLHRC – Syria’s Disappeared: The Case Against Assad

October 3 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a film screening followed by a panel discussion of Syria’s Disappeared: The Case Against Assad, a film by Sara Afshar.

Since the ongoing armed conflict in Syria began with protests in March 2011, between 250,000 and 470,000 people are estimated to have died, including tens of thousands of civilians, and millions of people have been displaced within and outside the country’s borders. The resulting humanitarian crisis is so large, and its regional implications so significant, that these aspects have at times overshadowed the brutal record of human rights violations, including torture and enforced disappearance, committed by the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. In 2013 the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria determined that the use of enforced disappearance by the Syrian government was widespread and could amount to a crime against humanity.

The 50-minute documentary film Syria’s Disappeared: The Case Against Assad tells the story of tens of thousands of men, women and children who disappeared at the hands of the Assad regime into a network of clandestine detention centers. The film weaves together the powerful personal stories of three Syrians with evidence gathered from regime documentation smuggled out of Syria. It follows survivors of detention, families of detainees, regime defectors and international war crimes investigators as they fight to release victims and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Following the screening, Mazen Alhummada, whose story is chronicled in the film, and Stephen J. Rapp, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes who also appears in the film, will discuss the urgent struggle to ensure accountability for these crimes.

The screening and panel discussion will be open to members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public and the media. For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton (for Rep. McGovern) at 202-225-3599 or Kimberly.Stanton@mail.house.gov or Jamie Staley (for Rep. Hultgren) at 202-226-1516 or Jamie.Staley@mail.house.gov.

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Randy Hultgren, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC



  • Mazen Alhummada, Syrian survivor of torture
  • Stephen J. Rapp, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues and Global Prevention Fellow, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide


  • Janelle Johnson, Policy Assistant, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide

Opening Remarks

  • Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair, TLHRC



October 3
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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US Congress Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission


US Congress
1539 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, District of Columbia
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