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Syria Rights Group Reveals Shocking Facts about Conditions in Sedanaya Military Prison

Published : 17-11-2019

Syria Rights Group Reveals Shocking Facts about Conditions in Sedanaya Military Prison

The Association of Detainees and The Missing in Sednaya Prison (ADMSP) stated in its first report, entitled “Sednaya Prison: Factory of death and enforced disappearance in Syria”, that inmates have been tortured to death in the highly-secretive penal complex.

The report, released in Gaziantep in Turkey on Tuesday (November 12), monitors the procedures and consequences of detention in Sednaya Prison in Syria, which the Assad regime continues to use as a main centre for the detention and enforced disappearance of political detainees,   denying them any contact with the outside world and subjecting them to poor conditions that often lead to death.

The report is based on 400 face-to-face interviews with former detainees in Sednaya prison. It sheds light on the torture tactics used by prison authorities against inmates. These strategies are also used as a means to terrorize anti-government voices.

The 60-page report provides an estimate of the number of detainees who have been locked up in Sednaya prison since its opening in 1987 until the beginning of 2019. It shows how the pace of detention has considerably accelerated after 2011, and confirms that it is very difficult to reach accurate statistics about the number of detainees there.

The report states that the Syrian regime itself is unable to issue accurate lists of the numbers of detainees due to the numerous victims of extrajudicial executions, torture, starvation, deprivation, and medical neglect.

“This is the first time that so many former detainees in Sednaya prison have been reached. The Assad regime’s methods of detention and enforced disappearance may have been known to some Syrians, but this report shows, by providing figures and testimonies, how the regime used the mechanism of arrest and enforced disappearance as one of the tools of war against the Syrian society”, says Diab Serriyah, general coordinator of the Association of Detainees and The Missing in Sednaya Prison.

The report devotes a whole chapter to the trials of detainees in Sednaya prison. It illustrates the Assad regime’s resort to the Military Field Court after 2011 and shows how the number of Sednaya detainees increased dramatically from 24.3% before 2011 to 87.6% after 2011. The military field court lacks the minimum requirements of a fair trial as the detainee is not allowed to have access to a lawyer or any contact with the outside world.

The report also states that only about 6.5% of the detainees in Sednaya have been brought before the Terrorism Court. Furthermore, the report points out that the percentage of detainees who said that their property was confiscated by the court after 2011 was significantly higher than the percentage of such cases before that year.

In addition, the report states that there is a large network of officials, and influential persons within the regime, along with some judges and lawyers who are extorting the families of the detainees and forcibly disappeared persons in order to secure visits to their loved ones in places of detention, or to make promises to release them. This reinforces the Association’s hypothesis of the existence of state decisions aimed at looting detainees for their money, especially after 2011.

The ADMSP identified 24 types of psychological torture which included mock executions, being forced to watch other inmates being tortured, and threats against prisoners' families.

Every former prisoner interviewed reported to have been beaten with sticks of batons in Sednaya, with 20 forms of torture identified, often resulting in the death of the inmates.

Almost all reported being whipped or beaten while trapped inside a tire, with other forms of torture including being suspended from the arms, electrocution, and the "German chair", which sees inmates tied around a chair with pressure applied.

Sexual abuse has also significantly increased under the Assad regime, with around a third of detainees admitted to have suffered from this form of torture at Sednaya.

Few inmates expect to emerge from Syria's Sednaya prison alive, a place where routine torture and inhumane living conditions are, obviously, all designed to break the hope and dignity of prisoners, according to human rights groups.  

Short URL : https://www.actionpal.org.uk/en/post/9359

The Association of Detainees and The Missing in Sednaya Prison (ADMSP) stated in its first report, entitled “Sednaya Prison: Factory of death and enforced disappearance in Syria”, that inmates have been tortured to death in the highly-secretive penal complex.

The report, released in Gaziantep in Turkey on Tuesday (November 12), monitors the procedures and consequences of detention in Sednaya Prison in Syria, which the Assad regime continues to use as a main centre for the detention and enforced disappearance of political detainees,   denying them any contact with the outside world and subjecting them to poor conditions that often lead to death.

The report is based on 400 face-to-face interviews with former detainees in Sednaya prison. It sheds light on the torture tactics used by prison authorities against inmates. These strategies are also used as a means to terrorize anti-government voices.

The 60-page report provides an estimate of the number of detainees who have been locked up in Sednaya prison since its opening in 1987 until the beginning of 2019. It shows how the pace of detention has considerably accelerated after 2011, and confirms that it is very difficult to reach accurate statistics about the number of detainees there.

The report states that the Syrian regime itself is unable to issue accurate lists of the numbers of detainees due to the numerous victims of extrajudicial executions, torture, starvation, deprivation, and medical neglect.

“This is the first time that so many former detainees in Sednaya prison have been reached. The Assad regime’s methods of detention and enforced disappearance may have been known to some Syrians, but this report shows, by providing figures and testimonies, how the regime used the mechanism of arrest and enforced disappearance as one of the tools of war against the Syrian society”, says Diab Serriyah, general coordinator of the Association of Detainees and The Missing in Sednaya Prison.

The report devotes a whole chapter to the trials of detainees in Sednaya prison. It illustrates the Assad regime’s resort to the Military Field Court after 2011 and shows how the number of Sednaya detainees increased dramatically from 24.3% before 2011 to 87.6% after 2011. The military field court lacks the minimum requirements of a fair trial as the detainee is not allowed to have access to a lawyer or any contact with the outside world.

The report also states that only about 6.5% of the detainees in Sednaya have been brought before the Terrorism Court. Furthermore, the report points out that the percentage of detainees who said that their property was confiscated by the court after 2011 was significantly higher than the percentage of such cases before that year.

In addition, the report states that there is a large network of officials, and influential persons within the regime, along with some judges and lawyers who are extorting the families of the detainees and forcibly disappeared persons in order to secure visits to their loved ones in places of detention, or to make promises to release them. This reinforces the Association’s hypothesis of the existence of state decisions aimed at looting detainees for their money, especially after 2011.

The ADMSP identified 24 types of psychological torture which included mock executions, being forced to watch other inmates being tortured, and threats against prisoners' families.

Every former prisoner interviewed reported to have been beaten with sticks of batons in Sednaya, with 20 forms of torture identified, often resulting in the death of the inmates.

Almost all reported being whipped or beaten while trapped inside a tire, with other forms of torture including being suspended from the arms, electrocution, and the "German chair", which sees inmates tied around a chair with pressure applied.

Sexual abuse has also significantly increased under the Assad regime, with around a third of detainees admitted to have suffered from this form of torture at Sednaya.

Few inmates expect to emerge from Syria's Sednaya prison alive, a place where routine torture and inhumane living conditions are, obviously, all designed to break the hope and dignity of prisoners, according to human rights groups.  

Short URL : https://www.actionpal.org.uk/en/post/9359