As many as 14 rights groups on Wednesday called for the immediate release of detainees from Homs Central Prison and for the immediate answering for their demands regarding an end to ill-treatment and the long arbitrary detention.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) along with 13 other human rights organizations called for an end to the transfer of detainees from Homs Central Prison to military and field courts such as a the “Terrorism Court” and an end to all death sentences.
The Network pointed out that the situation in the prison returned to the forefront following a visit by a delegation from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on October 16 to ascertain the health status of detainees and the food they eat inside the facility.
In a joint statement, the rights groups stressed the need for exerting pressure on the Russian government to prevent linking the cases of the detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime to military cases on the ground.
The joint statement came after attempts over the last week by Assad’s forces to storm the facility to end a riot that detainees staged in response to the prison administration’s cutting off of food and water supplies and communications.
Last week, the prison inmates announced they were going on a hunger strike demanding they are released and an end to practices being carried out by the prison director Brigadier General Bilal Suleiman Al-Saleh.
The joint statement called on the United Nations, ICRC, and international sponsors of the Astana talks to provide guarantees that the Assad regime would stop attempts to storm the prison. It also called for meeting the prisoners’ demands and ensuring their safety by urgently visiting the facility to ascertain the health status of over 25 elderly prisoners.
In April 2017, detainees at Homs Central Prison called for the inclusion of their names in the settlements and the prisoners exchange deals with the Assad regime. It is estimated that around 2,000 people are currently incarcerated in the prison, including 500 who were charged with participation in the Syrian revolution which broke out in March 2011. Source: (Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)