Syrian regime rejects Amnesty’s report about execution of 13,000 prisoners in Saydnaya

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Syrian regime has secretly executed over 13,000 prisoners in Saydnaya since 2011, Amnesty International reported. File photo

The Syrian Ministry of Justice on Wednesday rejected an Amnesty International report of mass hangings of 13,000 prisoners near the capital Damascus, saying the allegations were “totally untrue”.

“The justice ministry denies and condemns in the strongest terms what was reported because it is not based on correct evidence but on personal emotions that aim to achieve well-known political goals,” it said.

The Amnesty report, released on Tuesday, was based on a year of research that included interviews with 31 former detainees at the Saydnaya prison, and more than 50 former guards, judges and experts.

The report included chilling details from witnesses who saw various stages of the killings, down to the actual implementation and last- minute wishes of the men hanged, most of whom were civilians.

The Syrian Ministry of Justice said that Amnensty’s report was “misleading” and aimed at smearing the Syrian government’s reputation “after military victories against terrorist groups.”

The government of President Bashar al-Assad considers all anti-regime armed groups in Syria as ‘terrorists’.

Saydnaya has become the main political prison in Syria since 2011, according to witnesses.

Amnesty said its investigation revealed that Syrian authorities hanged between 5,000 and 13,000 people over the course of four years in Saydnaya – known by detainees as the ‘slaughterhouse’ and operated by the military police.

The hangings took place once or twice a week, after trials that last only a few minutes, the report said.

Agencies 

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