The total number of Palestinian refugees tortured to death by the regime of Bashar al-Assad since the beginning of the Syrian revolution has risen to 653, a rights group has reported.
According to statistics released by the Action Group for Palestinians in Syria (AGPS), four Palestinian refugees died under torture in the Syrian regime's vast prison network last year, bringing the total number to 653 throughout the course of the ongoing decade-long conflict.
The names of the refugees recently tortured to death are Majed Al-Madani, Mahmoud Kadoura, and Mohamed Ibrahim Kamal, with the fourth Palestinian's name being kept confidential reportedly due to security concerns.
The AGPS also reported that over 1,790 remain in secret detention by the Syrian regime.
The true number of killings, deaths under torture and disappearances of Palestinians and others are estimated to be much higher than the recorded statistics show. Many deaths are not reported by Syrian authorities and the families of many detainees remain silent for fear of reprisals.
According to statistics from two years ago, at least 34 of the Palestinians tortured to death were women and at least 110 were detained.
The AGPS stated that it "continues to urge the Syrian government to disclose the fate of scores of Palestinians held in its lock-ups, release the bodies of those tortured to death, to seriously work on halting harsh torture tactics, launch fact-finding probes into crimes of torture, and to bring those involved in such crimes before courts."
Many see the Assad regime's practice of torturing to death Palestinian refugees – along with over 14,000 others – over a decade of the conflict contradicts the claim by supporters of the regime that Assad and his allies defend Palestinians and fight for the Palestinian cause.