Amnesty: Systematic execution of 13,000 Syrian prisoners amounts to war crimes
A handout image from the Syrian state news agency shows prison inmates. (AFP/SANA)
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As many as 13,000 people most of them opposition supporters have been executed at a military prison near Damascus.
That is according to a report by the human rights watchdog, Amnesty International. It is entitled the ""Human slaughterhouse:Mass hangings and extermination at Saydnaya prison""
Systematic hangings are said to have been carried out secretly and those killed were buried at mass graves outside the capital, with families not informed of their fate, it said.
"Many other detainees at the prison have been killed after being repeatedly tortured and systematically deprived of food, water, medicine and medical care," claims the report.
The alleged executions were authorised at the highest level and amount to war crimes.
Amnesty deputy director of research in Beirut office, Lynn Maalouf:
"Every week, usually on Mondays and Wednesdays, groups of detainees, of between 20 to 50 detainees, would be taken from their cells, told that they would be transferred to civilian detentions but instead of that, they were taken to a cell in another building inside of Saydnaya where they would be hanged."
The data collected only goes up to 2015.
Amnesty says it interviewed 84 people, including former guards, detainees and prison officials.
A year ago UN rights experts said witness accounts suggested widespread detentions and deaths among them "were on a massive scale".
The Syrian government has previously denied killing or mistreating prisoners.
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