Amnesty International published a report on 18 August 2016 titled ‘It breaks the human’: Torture, disease, and death in Syria’s prisons, outlining more than 17,723 people have died in the custody of Syrian Government since the civil War started in March 2011. With the year ending December 2015, there have been 300 deaths on average per month.
The report documents the horrors of 65 people who survived these tortures. There has been the inhuman treatment of prisoners of war, political activists, civilians and rebels by the Syrian Intelligence agencies in the Saydnaya Military Prison. Director of Amnesty International in the Middle East and North Africa Programme, Philip Luther said, The catalog of horror stories featured in this report depicts in gruesome detail the dreadful abuse detainees routinely suffer from the moment of their arrest, through their interrogation and detention behind the closed doors of Syria’s notorious intelligence facilities. This journey is often lethal, with detainees being at risk of death in custody at every stage.” Amnesty has always asked the Syrian government to respect international human rights laws and find those involved in such acts. All those who have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity should be put on trial for their heinous acts.
As Russia and USA chaired meetings to negotiate how to end the 5-year-old conflict, Amnesty wished they would address the issues in their discussions. The number of casualties has been reported by the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG), which uses various scientific methods to quantify human rights violations. Moreover, other thousands of casualties have not yet been accounted for but Amnesty believes they might have been a result of oppressions in prisons. Director of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Nadim Shehadi said, “For most Syrians, Palmyra prison was where the Syrian regime perfected torture. The saying [went] that the lucky ones were dead because life was made so horrible by the brutality of the prison.”