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41 detainees, including child, killed by torture in Syria in September

Published: Updated:

41 detainees in Syrian regime prisons have died as a result of torture, including a child, a musician, and an athlete, according to statistics from September, a human rights source said on Tuesday.

The provinces of Damascus and Daraa had the largest share in terms of those killed as a result of torture in the regime’s prisons in September, as documented by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, in the report it published Tuesday. The number of people killed and tortured in Daraa in September amounted to 11 detainees and another 11 had the same feat in the countryside of Damascus.

Among those killed was 17-year-old Syrian Palestinian Ouday Sabri al-Helou. He was arrested in the Yarmouk refugee camp south of Damascus on June 6, 2016. The Syrian Human Rights Network confirmed that according to its sources, the child passed away on September 24 on account of torture while he was in detention in the regime’s prisons.

The arrested athlete, Alaa Madallah al-Jundi, was a football player in the province of Daraa. The Assad forces arrested him on July 20, 2014, and it was confirmed that he passed away of torture on September 11.

The Palestinian musician and artist, Mohammed Deeb Mahmoud Abu al-Raz, was killed on account of torture and his death was confirmed on September 13. Abu Al-Raz was a university student, and a member of the Palestinian heritage group Beit She’an. He previously worked in teams affiliated with the Syrian Ministry of Culture. The Syrian regime’s forces arrested him in 2014 in the Yarmouk refugee camp.

Among those killed because of torture in the regime’s prisons last September were Essam Mohammed Sharaf, a university student from the city of Daraa, Mohammed al-Masri from the same city, Mudar al-Ajeel, from Raqqa and Jamal al-Jamal, a university student and a member of the Muadamiyat al-Sham in Damascus countryside.

The Syrian Human Rights Network confirmed that 933 people have been killed because of torture since the beginning of this year, 911 of which were by the hands of Syrian regime forces. The report noting that the Syrian regime deliberately forced the families of victims of torture to sign documents stating that their relatives have died of natural causes, without letting them see the bodies of their dead children.

Since the beginning of this year, the Syrian regime has begun to send lists of the death of its detainees and to request the civil registry departments to register them dead, without mentioning the date of death.

While international and human rights organizations recognize that the enforced disappearances in Syria accounts to more than 80,000 cases, the number of detainees in Syria exceeds 250,000, according to various statistics, the last of which dates to the end of last year. The Syrian Network for Human Rights confirmed that there are currently 220,000 detainees in the regime prisons.

In 2017, Amnesty International issued a report titled “Human Slaughterhouse”, stating that more than 17,000 detainees were killed between 2011 and 2015 while held in Syrian prisons, noting that many of them were hanged. They added that the death of a large number of other detainees was on account of various types of torture, or deliberate negligence with the intention of slow murder.

Amnesty International has confirmed in 2015 all the documents and photographs taken by a famous person named Caesar, who had previously worked as a photographer for the Syrian regime’s army. He succeeded in smuggling thousands of photographs showing detainees who had been tortured in Assad prisons since 2011.