Perspectives on Geopolitics, History, and Political Economy

Syrian regime denies execution of 13,000 prisoners

Originally published on Middle East Monitor

Image of an army tank belonging to the Syrian government [Abkhazian Network News Agency/Wikipedia]

By Middle East Monitor

The Syrian justice ministry yesterday denied the findings published in an Amnesty International report which accused the Syrian regime of executing up to 13,000 prisoners through mass hangings at a military jail near Damascus, news agencies reported.

In a statement, the ministry said: “The report completely avoided truth,” noting it was based on “personal emotions” to achieve certain political goals.

The report, the statement said, was an attempt to “damage Syria’s reputation” on the international stage, especially after the “victories” achieve in Aleppo.

Meanwhile, the ministry said that the execution verdicts in Syria go through several courts and judgement degrees before are carried out.

Amnesty International’s report showed an average of 20-50 people were hanged each week at the Sednaya military prison in Damascus and about 5,000 to 13,000 people were executed between 2011 and 2015.

Many other detainees were “repeatedly tortured and deprived of food, water and medical care.”

Speaking to AP, Lynn Maalouf, deputy director for research at Amnesty’s regional office in Beirut, said: “There is no reason to believe the practice has stopped since then, with thousands more probably killed.”

She added: “The horrors depicted in this report reveal a hidden, monstrous campaign, authorised at the highest levels of the Syrian government, aimed at crushing any form of dissent within the Syrian population.”

About how the executed people are tried, Maalouf told AP: “These executions take place after a sham trial that lasts over a minute or two minutes, but they are authorised by the highest levels of authority.”

 

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