One person disappears every hour in Syria, and almost 3,000 people have gone missing since the start of the uprising against President Bashar Assad more than four months ago, according to an investigation by online activist group Avaaz.org. The group says it has identified 2,918 Syrians who were arrested or abducted by force by security troops and whose whereabouts are now unknown. The group published the results of its probe in a statement, which was emailed to the AP.
"Hour by hour, peaceful protesters are plucked from crowds by Syria's infamously brutal security forces, never to be seen again," says Avaaz's executive director. The group called on the international community to step up demands for the release of the disappeared and for a transition to democracy in Syria. Avaaz says it has identified 1,634 who were killed in the crackdown since March 15; another 26,000 have been arrested, and some 12,617 are still in detention. It says it worked with Syrian human rights organizations to document the names and photos of each disappeared case.