Syrian government rejects Amnesty International “Saydnaya Prison Report”

Saydnaya prison report Amnesty International

BBC – Syria’s justice ministry has rejected a report by Amnesty International that alleged as many as 13,000 people have been executed at a government prison.

The ministry said the claims were “completely untrue and intended to harm Syria’s reputation”.

Amnesty said mass hangings took place every week at Saydnaya prison between September 2011 and December 2015.

It said executions had been authorised at the highest levels of the Syrian government.

The human rights group interviewed 84 people, including former guards, detainees and officials at the prison, north of Damascus, for its report.

In a statement carried by the official Sana news agency, the justice ministry dismissed the claims as “baseless” and said that all executions in Syria followed due process.

“The justice ministry denies and condemns in the strongest terms what was reported because it is not based on correct evidence but on personal emotions that aim to achieve well-known political goals,” the statement said.

Amnesty said the Syrian government had not responded to its request for comment ahead of the report’s publication.

The government has previously denied killing or mistreating detainees.

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