The Assad regime have detained more than 215,000 Syrians since the uprising began in 2012, according to a new report.
Despite President Bashar al-Assad’s continued claims that he has only fighting against foreign “terrorists”, a report by the independent Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) found that his regime has detained at least 215,000 people in its sprawling network of prisons over the past three years.
According to the report, the volume of prisoners has meant that the regime has had to improvise:
“Since the beginning of 2012, government forces started using schools, stadiums, some building and villas as detention camps which is similar to the Nazi and Stalinist camps”
Torture and abuse is reported to be widespread within the hundred or more prisons being operated by the regime and the regime instituted a new law shortly after the outbreak of the popular protests that would prevent prosecution of torturers and abusers if they worked for the state.
In 2012, Human Rights Watch released reports detailing the brutal treatment of prisoners and the network of secret prisons, which corroborated the photographs and allegations by a defector about mass deaths perpetrated by the regime.
Warning: Graphic images
SNHR has called on the United Nations to assist human rights groups in filing a lawsuit against the Assad regime at the International Criminal Court (ICC). It also recommended that an international tribunal should be set up similar to the one used to prosecute those guilty of crimes during the bloody break up of Yugoslavia.