Arbitrary detentions in Syria (March 21, 2014)
An event took place today at the UN General Assembly in New York devoted to arbitrary detentions in Syria and to the atrocities committed in the regime’s prisons and detention centers.
This event, which has been organized by the permanent missions of several countries to the UN (Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States), was hosted by Sir Desmond Lorenz de Silva, former Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and head of the team of international magistrates that produced the recent report on torture practices in Syria published in January 2014.
This team examined the 55,000 photos of Syrian prisons that were smuggled out of the Syrian territory by the defector known under the pseudonym of “Caesar” and which document the regime’s practices in its prisons: mass torture, starvation, summary executions, including the execution of elderly people, women and children, and mutilations.
These elements are further proof of the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The regime’s leaders responsible for these crimes, which have been denounced by the UN secretary-general as well as by the high commissioner for human rights, must be brought to justice.