Report: Syria tortures dissidents in 'archipelago' of prisons(Read article summary)
Human Rights Watch report finds that Syria has created an 'archipelago' of torture facilities where the four intelligence agencies have used more than 20 distinct torture methods on detainees.
Courtesy of Kafarsouseh Revolt/AP
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The Syrian government has created an “archipelago” of 27 torture facilities throughout its country, according to a report released today by Human Rights Watch. Relying on interviews with more than 200 former detainees, the report offers the most comprehensive view to date of torture and abuse committed by the embattled regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Thousands of people are believed to have been tortured by the government since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, but the report is the first to offer a detailed view of the problem.
“The systematic patterns of ill-treatment and torture that Human Rights Watch documented clearly point to a state policy of torture and ill-treatment and therefore constitute a crime against humanity,” wrote the report’s authors.
The 81-page report recorded more than 20 distinct methods of torture, including beatings, often with batons; electrocution; detainees being forced to hold stress positions for extended periods of time; and mock executions. By publishing the details of these findings, the report’s authors say that they hope those behind them will now realize that they “will have to answer for these horrific crimes,” reports the Guardian.