Colonel Wassim Hassan, the former director of Sednaya prison, died of a heart attack on Saturday, the Sednaya Prison Detainees and Missing Association said.
The Sednaya slaughterhouse had witnessed during Hassan’s era the execution of at least 500 opposition rebels despite giving them guarantees of amnesty following Russia-brokered reconciliation deals in 2017, according to testimonies by former detainees,
Hassan’s arrival at Sednaya prison coincided with the start of the Syrian revolution in 2011. The prison was emptied of the old prisoners to be stuffed by pro-democracy activists and Bashar al-Assad's opponents.
For years, Hassan was the second man in the prison, until he assumed the position of director, succeeding Colonel Mahmoud Ma'atouk, who also died of a heart attack at the beginning of 2018.
According to the Detainees Association, 100% of the detainees had been tortured physically and 97.8% had been tortured psychologically in Sednaya prison.
The regime security is practicing 24 methods of psychological torture and 8 methods of sexual torture inside Sednaya prison, including beatings sexual organs.
The majority of the detainees were deprived of food and basic needs.
Hassan graduated from the Military College in 1990. Then he was transferred as an instructor and at the Military Police School. He moved later to Sednaya Prison at the end of 2010 when he was appointed as an assistant to its director at the time, Brigadier General Talaat Mahfoud.
Hassan was dismissed at the end of 2020 in a policy by the Assad regime to eliminate notorious officers who committed war crimes during war years amid piling reports by human rights organizations revealing their violations.
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.
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".
Syrian opposition sources said that more than 500,000 prisoners remain inside the prisons of the Syrian regime.
The Syrian regime has been practicing 72 torture methods against detainees in security chambers and military hospitals, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights.
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.
Ten years of war in Syria have killed 500,000 people and driven half the pre-war population of 22 million from their homes, including more than 6.7 million as refugees to neighbouring countries.