Human rights group Amnesty International alleges at least 13,000 people have been executed secretly at Saydnaya prison in Syria.
The organization adds mass hangings had taken place between September 2011 and December 2015, and most of them were the civilian opposition supporters. The executions were authorized by the Syrian government even though the country had earlier denied such act or mistreating the detainees.
The Amnesty International further said they have collected documentary evidence and witness accounts that strongly suggest people in tens and thousands were detained and deaths on a massive scale have been taking place in the prison just north of Damascus.
More than eighty people, including detainees, prison officials and former guards, were interviewed by the group while preparing the report that alleges once or twice a week about 20 to 50 people were executed in total secrecy.
Amnesty’s report claims the detainees were brought before a military field court for trials ahead of the execution in Qaboun district of the capital. The trial used to last up to three minutes.
A former military court judge was quoted by Amnesty as saying, “Whether the answer is ‘yes’ or ‘no’, he will be convicted… This court has no relation with the rule of law.”
The report further allege the detainees were transferred to a civilian prison on the day of hangings and were beaten for about two or three hours in a basement cell.
The bodies of hanged detainees were taken to Tishreen military hospital in Damascus loaded onto lorries for registration and thereafter to burial in mass graves which were located on army land.