“His Disappearance deprived his Mother the Joy to see him a Groom”

Account of the Disappeared Mustafa Shroff by the Air Force Intelligence Branch in Lattakia

The missing Mustafa Shroff, born in 1984 in Wadi al-Sheikhan village in Qasatel area located in the countryside of Lattakia, was a farmer, obtained a preparatory certificate, and was still single.

On May 2, 2012, the Air Force Intelligence Branch in Lattakia arrested Mustafa when he was in the main family house[1] in Wadi al-Sheikhan in Lattakia countryside. A patrol affiliated to the Branch surrounded Mustafa’s house, stormed it, then arrested Mustafa, beat him and insulted him in front of his family, at last, they put him in a car, Jeep, after they blindfolded and handcuffed him. A notorious element identified as Abu Khaled also participated in the arrest, he was known for his bad reputation, Mustafa’s mother[2] testified to STJ.

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A person who worked for the Military Police told Mustafa’s family later that their son was transferred to the military court in Lattakia on charges of helping to secure the defection of few Syrian regular army officers. He also told them that on  May 25, 2012, Mustafa was transferred to the military court through the Military Police Branch in Lattakia and then to the State Security Court in Damascus. However, the family had lost any trace of Mustafa.

The family tried to find out Mustafa’s fate by contacting some people linked to the Syrian regime who perform as intermediaries between families of the detainees and the regime for large sums of money. One of the intermediary (A, A) who asked a million Syrian pounds, $10,000 US dollars, from Mustafa’s family at the time just to tell them Mustafa’s whereabouts, but because they were very poor they could not afford that.

Later Mustafa’s family heard from some of the new released people from Sednaya Military Prison that they had already heard about Mustafa’s name inside the prison, but his family could not be sure from the news because there were many detainees with the same name from the Shroff family in the Syrian regime jails.

Mustafa’s mother talked about her son’s disappearance and the effects on the family:

“My son’s disappearance caused a great gap in the family life. I was preparing for his marriage to one of our relatives, but his disappearance deprived me of this joy so I could not see him marry or see his children. His absence also affected the financial state as he was helping his father to make a living for the whole family. We moved from Lattakia to Ein El-Bayda village in the countryside of Jiser al-Shughur which is under armed opposition control because of harassment and fear about the rest of Mustafa’s brothers. Mustafa’s absence is heartbreak and heartburn as well, his absence broke my back but his image does not leave me, and I hope, till I die, that he may come back.”

 

[1] The family owns two houses, one of them is in al-Sheikhan village located in Qasatel, which administratively follows the countryside of Lattakia on the road that links Aleppo and Lattakia, and the other one is in the Palestinian Ramel neighborhood. The family usually spends the summer in its house in the countryside.

[2] The interview was conducted on July 16, 2017, with Mustafa’s mother at her home in Ein Beida village in the countryside of Jisser al-Shougour.

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