President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa said that the United Nations has a responsibility to put an end to the Assad regime’s crimes against detainees in its prisons as he urged action to save the lives of thousands of detainees on Assad’s death rows.
President Mustafa cited an earlier Amnesty International’s report estimating that up to 13,000 detainees were executed in the notorious Sednaya Prison in the period between 2011 and 2015. He stressed that more detainees are being transferred to Sednaya Prison and being referred to the Military Field Court. The United Nations and all States have a responsibility to put an end to these crimes and save the lives of thousands of detainees on Assad’s death rows, he added.
“The world is seemingly still unaware of or insists on ignoring the living hell in the prisons of the Assad regime, especially in Sednaya prison,” President Mustafa said. “Pressure must be exerted on the Assad regime to bring an immediate end to torture, executions, and starvation of detainees.”
The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria earlier called on the Assad regime to give explanations for the causes of the death of thousands of detainees in its prisons. It urged the regime to acknowledge the truth about how victims perished, reveal the whereabouts of their remains, and promptly, thoroughly, transparently, and independently investigating all custodial deaths.
“Most custodial deaths are thought to have occurred in places of detention run by Syrian intelligence or military agencies. The Commission has not documented any instance, however, where bodies or personal belongings of the deceased were returned,” the Commission said earlier this week.
In a report issued in 2016, the Commission concluded that the scale of custodial deaths indicated that the Assad regime was responsible for genocide constituting a crime against humanity.
Human Rights Watch earlier questioned the Assad regime’s claims that the victims had died of a “heart attack” as it called on the Assad regime to answer the many questions as to how detainees died in its prisons.
Moreover, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Assad regime continued to detain civilians with its latest report indicating that Assad’s security forces detained 306 people in October. The Network pointed out that the Assad regime has pursued policies of repression and enforced disappearance since March 2011, which constitutes war crimes under international law. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)