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Assad regime 'tortured 133 people to death' in first half of 2018 Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Assad regime 'tortured 133 people to death' in first half of 2018

A former IS prison is discovered after liberation [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 July, 2018

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A rights group has revealed horrifying figures for the number of people in Syria killed by torture so far in 2018.

At least 146 people in Syria died from torture in the first half of 2018, the vast majority of whom at the hands of regime forces, the Syrian Network for Human Rights has said.

The group said that regime forces were responsibile for 133 deaths, including that of a child, while four people died from torture at the hands of armed opposition factions, however this also included a child, the network said in a report published on Tuesday.

The report attributed seven deaths by torture to Kurdish forces.

In regard to Bashar al-Assad's regime, the report said it practices torture through a number of institutions and across a wide framework. Such practices constitute a flagrant violation of international human rights law, and amount to both war crimes and crimes against humanity, according to the network.

The report also pointed out that the Syrian regime did not conduct a single investigation into any of the deaths, or punish those responsible, but instead obscured any evidence of the crimes.

Fadel Abdul Ghany, the chairman of SNHR said: "The norm of 'Responsibility to Protect' must be implemented in light of the government’s failure to protect its people, and the fruitlessness of the diplomatic and peaceful efforts so far."

"Crimes against humanity and war crimes are being perpetrated every day in Syria and mainly at the hands of the organs of the state itself," he added.

The network has documented at least 13,197 deaths from torture since the conflict began in 2011, including 167 children and 59 women.

"The staggeringly large numbers of victims who died due to torture, particularly at the hands of the Syrian regime, is a sure reminder that these deaths have been for years one of the most horrendous national catastrophes to afflict the Syrian state," said Ghany.

"What is even more appalling is the fact that it is still going on with no treatment even for those who somehow survive the years of torture and enforced-disappearance. Donor states should secure and raise more urgent assistance in this regard specifically," he added.

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