Human rights group, Amnesty International, released a report alleging that up to 13,000 people, many of whom are civilian opposition supporters, have been secretly executed at Saydnaya Military Prison in Syria. According to the report, mass hangings had been taking place every week from 2011 to 2015.
While the Syrian government has denied the allegations, Amnesty International stated that the executions were cleared at the highest levels of the Syrian government.
For their report, Amnesty International conducted interviews of 84 people, consisting of former guards and detainees at Saydnaya as well as prison officials. From these interviews, Amnesty reported that either every week, or two times a week, about 20 to 50 people were secretly executed in the facility.
Before executions took place, detainees were told they would be transferred to a civilian prison. Instead, they were taken to a cell in a basement where they would endure beatings that lasted up to three hours. They were then taken before a “military field court” where they stood for two to three minute “trials,” which consisted of the detainees being asked to state whether they committed crimes. Their answers did not change their fate.
While there are no reports of abuse taking place after December 2015, many believe that it has not stopped. Amnesty states that the crimes committed are both war crimes and crimes against humanity.
While Amnesty has worked to contact Syrian authorities for about a month, they have not received any response.