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Assad regime plans new wave of summary executions in Sednaya Prison

 (Zaman Al Wasl)- Dozen of Syrian detainees are at risk of summary executions in Sednaya military prison north of the capital, local monitoring group said.

The Violations Documentation Center in Syria said the Syrian regime is preparing to hold a series of new field trials against dozens of detainees, after being transferred from security branches and central prisons to the Sednaya military prison.

Most of the Syrian opposition detainees have underwent sham trials before military courts and were sometimes forced to make confessions under torture, according to Amnesty International. 

 A report published by the Washington Post daily last year said Bashar al-Assad’s army is doubling down on executions of political prisoners, with military judges accelerating the pace they issue death sentences.

According to the Violations Documentation Center, the detainees were transferred from the central prisons of Latakia, Sweida and Adra to Sednaya prison, but the largest number of detainees have been transferred from the security branches to Sednaya, where they are awaiting harsh sentences that could amount to execution.
Several human rights reports confirmed that Assad had committed crimes against humanity in Sednaya prison with an Amnesty International report describing it as a "human slaughterhouse".

Last week, the Detainees Association of Sednaya Prison released testimonies of torture survivors of the notorious detention facility.

According to the report, 100% of the detainees had been tortured physically and 97.8% had been tortured psychologically.

The regime security is practicing 24 methods of psychological torture and 8 methods of sexual torture inside Sdenaya prison, including beatings sexual organs. 

The majority of the detainees were deprived of food and basic needs, the association said.  

On November 25, the Assad security transferred five political detainees from Sweida central prison to notorious Sednaya Military prison, according to Syrians For Truth and Justice.

 The names of the detainees are Zakaria Khriba, Zakaria Jahaym, Abdel Rahman Matar, Abdo Mousa and Sami Al-Ferra.

A chilling Amnesty International report published in 2017, exposed the “cold-blooded killing of thousands of defenseless prisoners” in Sednaya prison jail where an estimated 13,000 people have been hanged in the past five years, and where mass hangings of up to 50 people at a time occur every week, sometimes twice a week.

Most of Sednaya's detainees were found guilty of affiliation with opposition armed groups, participating in battles against regime forces, and eliminating its informants within the region.

Satellite imagery of the Sednaya prison grounds taken in March 2018 shows an accumulation of dozens of dark objects that experts said were consistent with human bodies. The imagery was obtained by The Washington Post, which asked forensic experts to review it.

Other satellite imagery of military land near Damascus, previously identified by Amnesty International as a location of mass graves, appeared to show an increase in the number of burial pits and headstones in at least one cemetery there since the start of 2018. Defectors who worked in the military prison system said this area, located south of the capital, is the likely location for the mass burial of Sednaya prisoners.

According to the International Conscience Movement, an NGO, more than 13,500 women have been jailed since the Syrian conflict began, while more than 7,000 women remain in detention, where they are subjected to torture, rape and sexual violence.

The Syrian regime has been practicing 72 torture methods gainast detainees in security chambers and military hospitals, SNHR said October.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), at least 183 cases of arbitrary arrests were documented in October, including 109 cases of enforced disappearance.

Syrian opposition sources said that more than 500,000 prisoners remain inside the prisons of the Syrian regime.

About 1.2 million Syrian citizens have been arrested and detained at some point in the regime’s detention centers, including 130,000 individuals who are still detained or forcibly disappeared by the Syrian regime, since the revolution erupted in March 2011, SNHR said.

Eight years of war in Syria have killed 560,000 people and driven half the pre-war population of 22 million from their homes, including more than 6 million as refugees to neighbouring countries.    



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