Amnesty International on Tuesday called on the Assad regime to release detainees in its detention centers and military hospitals in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus among detainees.
“In Syrian prisons and detention centers, COVID-19 could spread quickly due to poor sanitation, lack of access to clean water and severe overcrowding”, said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director.
““All prisoners of conscience – political activists, human rights defenders, and others imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising their rights – must be immediately and unconditionally released,” Amnesty said.
“The early or conditional release of prisoners at high risk, such as older prisoners or those with serious medical conditions, should also be considered.”
Amnesty warned that “prisoners and detainees, including tens of thousands of people arbitrarily detained or forcibly disappeared, are at risk of contracting the disease as they are held in unhygienic conditions in locations across the country operated by the country’s security forces.”
““This government has a long record of denying prisoners and detainees the medical care and medicines that they urgently need. Anyone detained must have access to prevention and treatment services as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens lives.”
Amnesty International also said that it found the Assad regime’s “use of systematic use of torture and the mass deaths of detainees in custody across detention facilities in Syria amounted to crimes against humanity.” (Source: SOC’s Media Department)