The director of Sednaya Prison, the most notorious jail run by the Syrian regime, Brigadier General Mahmoud Ahmad Maatouq has been killed in what are being described as mysterious circumstances, the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper reported.
Websites loyal to the Syrian regime said Maatouq died while on "duty" without specifying where he was killed, but other webpages said he was probably killed in the town of Harasta in Eastern Ghouta in December.
Human rights reports accused Maatouq of torturing detainees in his capacity as prison director since 2013 while Amnesty International has described Sednaya Prison as a place where "the Syrian state quietly kills its people".
In a report issued in February 2017, Amnesty International said the Assad regime had carried out mass executions of 13,000 prisoners held in Sednaya prison. "Between 2011 and 2015, executions by hanging were carried out against Assad's opponents twice a week at night," the organisation said in report titled "Human Slaughter: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Sednaya Prison".
The organisation explained that Assad's opponents detained in Sednaya remain blindfolded at all time before they face death by hanging. Amnesty said the report is the outcome of interviews with dozens of witnesses, including former detainees and former military personnel who worked in the same prison.