Amnesty International defied Bashar Al-Assad to open his prisons to international monitors to check on the conditions of detainees after the dictator denied that he had 13,000 people executed in Syadnaya Prison between 2011 and 2015.
Amnesty International published a shocking report on Monday called “Human Slaughterhouse” where it said victims were given death sentences after sham trials lasting less than three minutes, often on the basis of confessions extracted through torture and all commissioned by top officials.
In an interview with Yahoo News on Friday, Assad dismissed the findings of the charity’s report as “fake” and “biased.”
In response to the interview, Amnesty International’s research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa Philip Luther said: “In his interview Bashar al-Assad repeatedly attempts to discredit Amnesty International’s findings.”
“However, he admits he has not visited Saydnaya military prison and provides not a shred of information about the ‘true’ situation there,” Luther added.
“He acknowledges that executions take place in Syria, but fails to give any details whatsoever about the number carried out in Saydnaya or anywhere else in the country.”
Luther added: “If he has nothing to hide he must immediately grant access for international monitors to Saydnaya and all other places of detention in Syria. He must also reveal the truth about the number of executions taking place.”
“Russia, which has also publicly dismissed the findings of the report, should use its influence with the Syrian authorities to make this happen,” Luther went on.
Amnesty’s report about atrocities taking place at Saydnaya prison prompted a strong reaction from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who was “horrified about what was in the report.”
Earlier this week, France called on the international community to take action to prevent impunity for these crimes. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was “sickened” by the findings of Amnesty’s report.
Amid compelling evidence that Assad’s henchmen carried out an unprecedented “policy of extermination,” Foreign Secretary Johnson said the dictator had “no future as leader.”
Amnesty said it was “inconceivable that these large-scale practices have not been authorized at the highest levels of the Syrian government,” including the minister of defense and the chief of staff of the army, both of whom are authorized to act on behalf of Assad. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)