Syrie - Q&A - Excerpts from the daily press briefing (16 May 2017)

Q - The State Department accused the Syrian regime of using a crematorium in Sednaya to destroy the bodies of thousands of prisoners murdered in recent years.

What is France’s response to these accusations?

A - France was concerned and horrified to learn of American information on the installation of a crematorium at Sednaya to dispose of prisoners’ remains. This accusation is extremely serious. The Syrian regime has a long history of terror. The crimes it committed systematically and on a large scale have been documented since the outbreak of the conflict by the International Commission of Inquiry, the César report, and civil society organizations, particularly Amnesty International, which published a report on the subject. France notes that it was also at Sednaya prison that, in 2011, the regime knowingly released prisoners who joined terrorist groups.

France demands an international investigation of Sednaya, to be carried out in a timely fashion. It calls on the regime’s backers, and particularly Russia, to use their leverage in Damascus to authorize access by the International Commission of Inquiry and allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to exercise its right to visit prisoners of war and civilian internees by providing access to prisons in a timely fashion.

France will continue to mobilize its efforts to ensure that justice is done and that those responsible for these crimes do not go unpunished.