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Friday, February 10, 2017

Over 13,000 hanged at Syrian prison

Beirut -- At least 13,000 people have been executed in mass hangings at a prison north of Damascus. It's known to detainees as the "slaughterhouse" Amnesty International (AI) said.

AI released a report detailing the period from 2015, when the uprising began, saying that groups of 20 to 50 people were hanged at Saydnaya Prison. This went on several times a week in the middle of the night and were authorized by senior government officials, including deputies of President and chinless leader Bashar Assad.

"The horrors depicted in this report reveal a hidden, monstrous campaign, authorized at the highest levels of the Syrian government, aimed at crushing any form of dissent within the Syrian population," said Lynn Maalouf, deputy director for research at AI's regional office in Beirut.

Maalouf told the Associated Press the prisoners were only informed of their death sentence "a few minutes before the noose is tied around their neck."

"These executions take place after a sham trial that lasts over a minute or two minutes, but they are authorized by the highest levels of authority," including the Grand Mufti, and defense minister, she said.

AI based its findings on interviews with 31 former detainees and over 50 officials, including prison guards and judges.

In a report released last year, AI documented over 17,000 deaths from torture and abuse in prisons across Syria.

Syrian protests in 2011 led to the civil war that killed about 400,000 people.

Amnesty called on the Syrian government to cease extrajudicial killings and torture in Saydnaya, but Assad just laughs at them and does what he wants to do with Russia's blessings.