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Home » World » Syria: 13,000 people secretly executed in government jail, says Amnesty report

Syria: 13,000 people secretly executed in government jail, says Amnesty report

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Source: Amnesty International

Around 13,000 people, mostly civilians, have been executed in the past five years inside a Syrian government jail, according to a report by Amnesty International.

The mass hangings have taken place at Saydnaya military prison near Damascus between 2011 and 2015. The shocking report indicated that the mass hangings are ongoing in Syrian prisons.

“Most of those hanged were civilians believed to have been opposed to the government, with the killings taking place in great secrecy in the middle of the night. The executions take place after one- or two-minute lawyer-less trials using ‘confessions’ extracted through torture,” the report stated.

Amnesty prepared the 48-page report, titled ‘Human slaughterhouse: Mass hangings and extermination at Saydnaya prison, Syria’, by interviewing 84 people, including former guards, detainees and prison officials.

The report indicated that Syrian government is deliberately imposing brutally inhuman conditions on Saydnaya detainees, with systematic torture, deprivation of food, water, medicine and medical care.

“They kept them [hanging] there for ten to 15 minutes. Some didn’t die because they are light. For the young ones, their weight wouldn’t kill them. The officers’ assistants would pull them down and break their necks,” A former judge who witnessed the hanging told Amnesty International.

Systematic hangings are said to have been carried out secretly and those killed were buried at mass graves outside the capital, with families not informed of their fate, the report further added.

“The upcoming Syria peace talks in Geneva cannot ignore these findings. Ending these atrocities in Syrian government prisons must be put on the agenda. The UN must immediately carry out an independent investigation into the crimes being committed at Saydnaya and demand access for independent monitors to all places of detention,” Amnesty deputy director of research in Beirut office, Lynn Maalouf said.

The Syrian government has previously denied killing or mistreating of prisoners.