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Hashtag ‘inside Assad’s prisons’ sheds light on brutal human rights abuses amid Turkiye-Syria reconciliation

January 9, 2023 at 1:18 pm

Hashtag ‘inside Assad’s prisons’ [Twitter]

Syrian activists have launched an Arabic hashtag, inside Assad’s prisons, to draw attention to human rights abuses carried out by the regime and to halt an overture between Ankara and Damascus.

Twitter users have shared videos of overcrowded prison cells, dead bodies lined up and photos of Syrians who were killed in detention by the regime.

A report by the rights watchdog Amnesty International detailed how every week between 20 and 50 people are taken from their prison cells to be hanged in the middle of the night.

Prisoners there are tortured, deprived of food, water, medicine, and health care. Those who have died are often buried in mass graves.

There have been detainees for many years inside the security system … They are subjected to starvation, systematic torture and suffering that has not been witness in history on earth. In addition, diseases exhausted their slender bodies and the darkness of the cells has blinded them.

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A Palestinian woman was arrested by the regime and held in the Palestine security branch and raped. Palestinians, like Syrians, are raped, tortured and buried in mass graves.

This campaign, inside Assad’s prisons, has been launched by activists to shed light on what is happening to detainees who sacrificed everything for the sake of the revolution, for their families and people. The issue of detainees is bringing us together and unifying our voice. We must look for a way to undertake collective action to get detainees out of Assad’s prisons and reveal what happened to the ones who are missing. Be their voice.

The issue of Turkiye-Syria reconciliation has been at the forefront of activists’ concerns, with Syrians demonstrating in Aleppo and Idlib Governorate calling on Turkiye not to reconcile.

Last week Syrian, Turkish and Russian defence ministers met in Moscow for the first time in over a decade having been sworn enemies throughout the 12-year conflict.

Turkiye’s president has called his Syrian counterpart a terrorist and in return, Bashar Al-Assad has said that he is a thief selling Syrian land.

The US has called on states to consider Syria’s human rights record and said that no one should reconcile with the Assad regime.

As well as brutally torturing prisoners, the Assad regime, its allies Russia and Iran have used chemical weapons against civilians.

Government forces have bombed and shelled hospitals, besieged civilians and restricted vital humanitarian aid.