7,000 Syrians who died in state detention were tortured or execuated
Dec 17, Damascus: Up to 7,000 Syrians who died in government detention centres in Syria were tortured to death, a new evidence found.
Human Rights Watch released a report after an eight month research of at least 53,275 smuggled photographs of tortured Syrian individuals, news report said.
According to the report, in January 2014, a defector, who was given the codename of 'Cesar', smuggled images out of Syria, showing bodies of detainees photographed by his colleagues and himself.
Cesar's role in the military police in Syria was to photograph and document the bodies of those brought from their places of detention to a military hospital.
The bodies in his images showed signs of starvation, brutal beatings, strangulation and other forms of torture and killing.
In his interview with the investigators’ legal team conducted over the course of three days in January 2014, Caesar told the team he had worked in the Syrian military police for 13 years.
Most of the 6,786 victims shown in the Caesar photographs were detained by just five intelligence agency branches in Damascus.
Two military hospitals in Damascus received the corpses between May 2011, when Caesar began copying files and smuggling them out of his workplace, and August 2013, when he fled Syria.
The 86-page report, "If the Dead Could Speak: Mass Deaths and Torture in Syria’s Detention Facilities," answers questions such as: are the photographs authentic? Are they really images of dead detainees? If so, what caused so many to die? and how did the bodies end up in military hospitals and what happened to the corpses afterwards?
During the course of their research, HRW located and interviewed 33 relatives and friends of 27 victims whose cases researchers verified; 37 former detainees who saw people die in detention; and four defectors who worked in Syrian government detention centers or the military hospitals where most of the photographs were taken.
The Oslo Times