The death toll for the Syrian civil war has reached hundreds of thousands of persons killed, and now a rights group is saying they have evidence that tens of thousands of those dead were not killed on the battlefield but in the confines of Syrian prisons. If true, the claim—which was posted by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) on their Facebook page—would represent yet another potential atrocity on the part of the Syrian Assad regime in that nation’s five-year-old civil war.
The prisoner death toll, according to information obtained by the SOHR from “reliable sources” in Syrian security forces and military prison system, is at least 60,000 and includes 110 teenagers under the age of 18. The SOHR said the deaths were “either due to direct physical torture, or by privation of food and medicine.” The prisoner death threat is anything but over—the SOHR said more than 200,000 remain in Syrian prisons. “We urge the international community… for taking immediate action by putting pressure on the Syrian regime,” said the SOHR statement.
Potentially impacting the official totals is that not all the dead prisoners are document as such. “The regime forces also forced other[s] to sign a statement saying that their sons were killed by the fighters of opposition groups,” said the SOHR statement, noting they also received information indicating some citizens were “killed under torture in the prisons of the regime forces but the families and relatives kept it a secret, out of fear of security prosecution and arrest.”
The SOHR urged not only for the demand that remaining prisoners be released, but also for the establishment of a court that would prosecute those guilty of crimes in the Syrian conflict.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, May 22, 2016)