Learning from Human Rights Defenders
The Syrian government has used enforced disappearances and torture as part of a systematic attack against the civilian population and the opposition since 2011. At least 98,000 persons have been forcibly disappeared in Syria since March 2011, according to the latest report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).
As a previous detainee, Joumana Alshtiwi will discuss prison conditions in Syria, focusing particularly on the situation of women. Joumana will discuss her own experience of 10 months in detention, as well as more recent cases, supported by evidence from human rights organisations and individuals working on the ground.
Joumana Alshtiwi is a Syrian human rights activist and a second year Psychology student at the University of York. She was involved in the Syrian revolution in 2011, at a time when she was a pharmacy student at Damascus University. It was a peaceful uprising for political change after decades of autocratic rule, requesting a better future.
The Syrian regime arrested Joumana initially for 3 days in 2012. After her release, she continued with humanitarian activities, helping displaced people get medical assistance and finding housing for them after their houses had been bombed. In 2013, she was arrested again, tortured for 23 days and subsequently disappeared for 9 months by the government.
After her release in 2014, Joumana fled to Lebanon as a refugee. There she worked for 2 years as a trainee in a Syrian NGO supporting refugee women. She organized several events about Syria, refugees and detainees.
After having arrived in the UK as a refugee and prior to taking up her studies at York, she has organized many events on Syria in Wales.