The Assad regime is trying to “whitewash decades of state-sanctioned human rights violations” by passing a new anti-torture law, Amnesty International has said.
Human rights organizations have condemned the law, saying it gives no real recourse to justice for victims or their families, leaving many in Syria acutely vulnerable.
“While we welcome any legislative steps towards complying with internationally recognized anti-torture conventions, the new law effectively whitewashes decades of state-sanctioned human rights violations,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty’s deputy regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Maalouf added: “It fails to offer redress to past victims of torture, include any protection measures for witnesses or survivors of torture, nor does it state whether torture survivors, or in the event of their death, their families would receive compensation.”
“Crucially, it fails to mention any measures that could be taken to prevent torture from occurring in detention centers and prisons in the future.”
Maalouf called on the Assad regime to urgently allow independent monitors access to the country’s notorious detention centers, where widespread torture and death have occurred for years. She stressed the need for a fair trial of perpetrators of torture, cruel, inhuman or other ill-treatment.
Head of the Syrian National Commission for Detainees and Missing Persons, Yasser Al-Farhan, had earlier described the law as “insolent,” stressing that arrest, extrajudicial executions and torture are a systematic behavior of the Assad regime to rule Syria.
Al-Farhan pointed out that the Assad regime and its security services live off torture and execution in prisons. He said that torture has been one of the regime’s established policies since the rule of Assad the father to confront opponents and dissuade them from claiming their just demands for freedom, dignity and justice.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)