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SETF Condemns the Murder of American Psychotherapist Majd Kamalmaz by the Assad Regime

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 18, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  The Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) strongly condemns the heinous torture and murder of Majd Kamalmaz, detained in Syria by the Assad regime in 2017, and stands in support of his family going through this difficult time. As an organization that has worked closely with the Kamalmaz family to advocate for his release and pursue justice over the years, SETF reaffirms its unwavering commitment to pursue accountability for this and all human rights abuses at the hands of the Assad regime.

Majd’s family expressed:

“It is with the utmost sadness and grief that we announce the passing of Majd Kamalmaz. He was a kindhearted, loving, and caring individual who lived his amazing attributes through his various roles as a son, husband, brother, father, grandfather, and uncle. […]  For the last seven years, we have struggled to come to grips with his absence. The anguish we have felt not knowing where he was, or how he was, caused the family emotional trauma that manifested into physical pain. The news that we had hoped and eagerly waited for—his safe return—has tragically changed to condolences. […] As a family, we now begin to realize that the bitter emptiness he has left behind will never be filled by his presence. He will be missed tremendously, yet we hope that his legacy of helping others in need lives on and is carried out by many.”

Majd Kamalmaz, an American psychotherapist and humanitarian worker who traveled around the world helping people heal – from survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans to victims of the Tsunami in Indonesia, as well as the survivors of Genocide in Bosnia,-, was treating refugees in the region from war-torn Syria around the time of his detention. A day after arriving in Syria to visit family members, Kamalmaz was stopped at an Assad regime checkpoint in Damascus and had not been seen or heard from since that day. Despite tireless efforts by his family, SETF, and others, to secure his release and ensure his safety, Majd remained unjustly detained enduring unimaginable suffering. Unfortunately, the Kamalmaz family finally received official confirmation by the US government that he was killed in Assad regime custody. 

Majd’s unwavering commitment to humanitarian work exemplified the values of compassion, empathy, and selflessness. SETF extends its deepest condolences to the Kamalmaz family during this incredibly difficult time. Our hearts are heavy with grief, anger, and a profound sense of injustice as we mourn this terrible loss. 

This horrific crime underscores the brutal and oppressive nature of the Assad regime, which continues to perpetrate atrocities against innocent civilians from all nationalities including Americans with impunity. “SETF and the Kamalmaz family are dedicated to pursuing accountability for Majd, an American humanitarian wrongfully detained and killed by the criminal Assad regime. A civil lawsuit against the Assad regime has been prepared and will be filed promptly for the wrongful detention, torture, and death of Majd Kamalmaz and we call on the US government to immediately pursue a criminal investigation for the death of an American citizen.” Said Mouaz Moustafa, SETF’s Executive Director. 

About the Syrian Emergency Task Force

The Syrian Emergency Task Force is a Syrian-American 501(c)(3) headquartered in Washington, D.C. SETF works tirelessly to bring an end to the killing in Syria through humanitarian initiatives, advocacy and the pursuit of justice and accountability for war crimes. Today, SETF stands as the most notable American organization working on Syria, as evidenced by the impact it has made both on the ground in Syria and the U.S. SETF serves as a resource for education by bringing the voices of the Syrian people to the international stage. From testimonies at the UN Security Council to local grassroots community fundraisers, the team brings together like-minded people who are determined to fight for a safe, and free Syria away from the vicious dictatorship.

For any inquiries, please contact:
Maria Cure
[email protected]
www.setf.ngo