Syrian Government Reportedly Holds Secret Prison Hangings Of Civilians

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Syrian Government Reportedly Holds Secret Prison Hangings Of Civilians

In their report into the prison, Amnesty describes torture, starvation and mass hangings carried out in the middle of the night after "trials" typically lasting less than three minutes.

An advocacy group called Guernica 37 filed a complaint in a Spanish court against nine Syrian officials for the detention and death of a Syrian man named Abdul. "But then I also felt happiness-they were coming to be killed, and I felt happy that their suffering would come to an end ..."

"The coming Syria peace talks in Geneva can not ignore these findings", said Lynn Maalouf, deputy director for research at Amnesty's Beirut office.

While the most recent data is from 2015, Ms Maalouf said there was no reason to believe the practice has stopped, with thousands more probably killed.

"We now know where, when and how often these hangings are taking place, as well as which elements of the Syrian government have authorised them", said Nicolette Waldman, an Amnesty researcher specialising in detention issues and one of the report's authors.

Maalouf, Amnesty's deputy director, called for an investigation and for the mass killing allegations to be on the agenda at future peace talks between rebels and the Syrian government.

His comments to Belgian media came as rights watchdog Amnesty International accused the regime of hanging 13,000 at an infamous prison near Damascus. Amnesty International's investigation, spanning from December 2015 to December 2016, consisted of interviews with former Saydnaya prison officials, guards, and former detainees who gave testimony and were "witnesses to the sounds and sights" of certain executions.

"They walked in the "train" so they had their heads down and were trying to catch the shirt of the person in front of them".

In groups of 10 at a time, they are led to a 3-foot-high platform where 10 beige nooses hang. "This was normal for me then", he told Amnesty.

"You would hear the sound of them being strangled..." Now 21, he lives in Sweden.

Omar, a high-school student when he was arrested, shared an experience with Amnesty, "The guard would ask everyone to take off all their clothes and go to the bathroom one by one. they would select one of the boys.They would ask him to stand with his face to the door and close his eyes".

Several surviving prisoners described a dystopian hell-scape in which prisoners were raped, forced to rape other prisoners, starved to death, and left to sleep on floors coated in blood. "We were sleeping above people choking to death". He dies a metre away.

Numerous prisoners who spoke to Amnesty said they were raped and in some cases forced to rape others. He suffered from tuberculosis and his weight fell to 77 pounds. One of his cousins died in his arms because he was so deprived of food, while another of his cellmates died of diarrhoea - a common occurrence inside the prison.

Amid compelling evidence that the Syrian president's henchmen carried out an unprecedented "policy of extermination", the Foreign Secretary said the dictator had "no future as leader". The prisoners are primarily military officers or soldiers who were suspected of being disloyal to the Syrian government and civilians such as demonstrators, political dissidents, journalists and humanitarian aid workers. When he said none, the judge spared him.

Death in Saydnaya was always present, "like the air", Mr Alshogre said.

"We weren't sad to die actually, because that is what we were doing in the prison".

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