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14,400 people tortured to death in Syria

July 20, 2020 at 4:26 pm

A member of Free Syrian Army (FSA) poses for a photo in front of a prison, which was used by PKK to withhold opponents, after it was captured by FSA following the liberation of Afrin by Turkish Armed Forces and FSA within the “Operation Olive Branch” launched in Syria’s Afrin, on March 24, 2018 [Hişam El Homsi – Anadolu Agency]

A total of 14,423 people are documented as having been tortured to death since the start of the ongoing Syrian civil war in 2011, a UK-based human rights group has revealed. More 98 per cent of the victims were killed by the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, all of the main parties in the Syrian conflict are guilty of torture and human rights violations. However, the Assad regime is by far the worst culprit, killing at least 14,249 people through the use of extensive torture.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are held responsible for 52 of the torture deaths, while the official opposition or the Syrian National Army (SNA) is responsible for 43; the Daesh terrorist group is responsible for killing 32 people by torture, and Islamist opposition groups such as Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) are responsible for 26 people being killed in this way. The remaining 21 people were killed by other parties.

Included in these numbers are 64 women and 179 children, almost all of whom were tortured and killed by regime security services.

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“The Syrian regime applies torture to take revenge on the opposition,” said the organisation in a report last month. It recorded 72 methods of physical, psychological and sexual torture used by the regime on those it detains.

While in detention, those being held by the regime suffer from poor sanitary conditions, with most of the prison complexes holding 50 people in cells which have, on average, just 24 square metres of floor space.

According to opposition sources, at least 500,000 people are currently detained in the regime’s prison network. Many have been forcibly disappeared and their families have no knowledge of their whereabouts or conditions.