Former detainees and defectors have identified the locations, agencies responsible, torture methods used, and, in many cases, the commanders in charge of 27 detention facilities run by Syrian intelligence agencies. 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.
The report is based on more than 200 interviews conducted by Human Rights Watch since the beginning of anti-government demonstrations in Syria in March 2011. The report includes maps locating the detention facilities, video accounts from former detainees, and sketches of torture techniques described by numerous people who witnessed or experienced torture in these facilities.
The facilities cited in the report are those for which multiple witnesses have indicated the same location and provided detailed descriptions of torture. The actual number of detention facilities used by intelligence agencies is probably much higher.