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Amnesty to Assad: ‘Reveal the truth about executions’

Amnesty said that the Syrian regime had executed thousands of prisoners in mass hangings

Published: Updated:

Amnesty International responded on Monday to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s dismissal of the recent report published by the organization on the mass hangings and executions at Syria’s Seydnaya military prison.

“In his interview [with Yahoo News] President Bashar al-Assad repeatedly attempts to discredit Amnesty International’s findings. However, he admits he has not visited Seydnaya military prison and provides not a shred of information about the ‘true’ situation there.

“He acknowledges that executions take place in Syria, but fails to give any details whatsoever about the number carried out in Seydnaya or anywhere else in the country," Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Philip Luther said in a statement.

“If he has nothing to hide he must immediately grant access for international monitors to Seydnaya and all other places of detention in Syria. He must also reveal the truth about the number of executions taking place. Russia, which has also publicly dismissed the findings of the report should use its influence with the Syrian authorities to make this happen,” Luther added.

Amnesty said that the Syrian regime had executed thousands of prisoners in mass hangings and carried out systematic torture at the jail.

They said the executions took place between 2011 and 2015, but were probably still being carried out and amounted to war crimes.

The Amnesty report said an average of 20-50 people were hanged each week at the Sednaya military prison north of Damascus. Between 5,000 and 13,000 people were executed at Sednaya in the four years after Syria’s popular uprising descended into civil war, it said.