During the Syrian war that has been ongoing since March 2011, close to 1 million people have lost their lives and tens of thousands have been detained and imprisoned. According to the last statistics of Syrian human rights organizations, the number of WOMEN detained by the Syrian Regime between March 2011 and the end of 2017 is 13,581. The number of women still held in prisons by the Syrian regime is more than 6,736. Of this number, 6,319 are adult women and 417 are children. 

These numbers only represent the women held in official prisons; the number of people who are kept in different buildings and facilities used as prisons is still unknown. Some of the women were arrested or abducted during pregnancy and gave birth in prison or detention centers, and some were impregnated while detained after being repeatedly raped. In fact, the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria has declared that for reasons such as stigmatization and trauma, cases of sexual violence have been underreported. Other women have been detained along with their children who are forced to witness all kinds of daily torture their mothers go through. 

The crimes committed against the women since the beginning of the Syrian war, including sexual assault, torture and unlawful detention are all considered as crimes against humanity and war crimes according to international law. Although there are many unanswered questions, the only known truth is that the Syrian regime uses rape and assault on women as a weapon of war. Violations and crimes against women are not only committed by the Syrian Regime troops, but also by the mercenaries and the terrorist groups. 

As women from all over the world, we are undertaking the journey of the “Conscience Convoy for the women” as a call to the world to communicate the voices of the women detained and tortured in Syria. 

Our aim is: 

- To draw attention to the suffering of women who are being tortured, raped, executed, imprisoned and made refugees since the beginning of the war in Syria; 

- To initiate an attempt to release all girl and women prisoners unlawfully held in Syria; 

- To invite all humanity to take effective measures to protect women during conflicts and wars. 

We will organize a convoy of buses to gather women from various backgrounds and professions such as lawyers, academicians, journalists, housewives, businesswomen, athletes, artists, NGO representatives, activists, social workers, teachers, doctors, politicians and so on. The convoy will start its journey on the 06.03.2018 at 10.30 a.m. from Istanbul after a press announcement, passing by Izmit, Sakarya, Ankara, Konya and Adana to reach the Syrian border from which together we will make a call to the world in the morning of 08 March 2018, World Women's Day. As a symbol, we will wear embroidered scarves around our neck throughout the journey. After our press statement in the closest secure area near the borders, we will visit Syrian women in a refugee camp before returning to Istanbul. 

We will be pleased to welcome your attendance and support to this international convoy lead by women and for the women, the CONSCIENCE CONVOY. 

Click for the Arabic text.

Our sincere regards, 

Att. Gülden Sönmez 

On behalf of the Conscience Convoy 

Contact details 

Fatima Zahraa ALAOUI 

+90 549 784 6178