Tens of thousands have been subjected to enforced disappearance in Syria since 2011. The regime is responsible for a majority of these detentions, but various armed groups have been guilty of the practice as well. Amnesty International has warned that “the plight of those who have vanished after being arrested by the authorities or detained by armed groups is a tragedy that has been largely ignored internationally.”

How does the issue of enforced disappearances impact Syrian society today, and how will it affect the country’s future? How can the international community address the problem? How can the status of detainees be integrated into the negotiations and the political process?

The Middle East Institute (MEI) is pleased to host the premiere screening of Alive in Graves, a documentary produced by the Save the Rest Campaign to shed light on the crisis of Syrian detainees in the prisons of the Syrian government. The 17-minute film will be followed by followed by a discussion with Mohammad al-Abdallah, executive director of the Syria Justice and Accountability Center; Mariam Jalabi, co-founder of the Syrian Women's Political Movement; and Raed Jarrar, MENA advocacy director at Amnesty International USA. MEI Fellow Ibrahim al-Assil will moderate the discussion.

Speaker Biographies:
Mohammad al-Abdullah
Executive director, Syria Justice and Accountability Centre
Mohammad al-Abdullah is a Syrian human rights and democracy researcher and activist. He recieved a Bachelor's of Law from Lebanese University in 2007, and a Master's of Public Policy from George Mason University in 2014. He previously worked as a research assistant for Human Rights Watch in Beirut, where he covered Syria. al-Abdullah is a former political prisoner who was incarcerated in Syria on two separate occasions for his work defending human rights and lobbying for political reform.

Mariam Jalabi
Co-founder, Syrian Women's Political Movement
Mariam Jalabi is a founding member of the Syrian Women's Political Movement, and the co-chair of its foreign relations committee. She has served as a member of the Women's Advisory Committee to the Syrian High Negotiations Committee. She is also a founding member of the Syrian Nonviolence Movement. Jalabi holds degrees in political science from McGill University and from FIT in New York.

Raed Jarrar
Advocacy director, Amnesty International-MENA
Raed Jarrar is an Arab-American architect, blogger, and political advocate based in Washington, DC. He is currently the MENA Advocacy Director at Amnesty International USA, and he also serves on the Advisory Board of Airwars.

Ibrahim al-Assil (moderator)
Fellow, MEI
Ibrahim al-Assil is a Syrian political analyst and civil society activist who serves as a resident fellow at the Middle East Institute. He is also a non-resident fellow at the Orient Research Center in Dubai. His work focuses on the Syrian conflict with an emphasis on different aspects of security, civil society, political Islam, and political economy. al-Assil is the former president and co-founder of the Syrian Nonviolence Movement, an NGO formed in 2011 to promote peace.