Over 60,000 inmates have died in Syrian regime prisons

Torture and inhumane conditions such as a lack of food and inadequate facilities are cited as the main reasons for the deaths of over 60,000 inmates in Syrian regime prisons.

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

Damascus central prison.

At least 60,000 people have died in prisons run by the Syrian regime over the past five years.

They were tortured during custody and the regime didn't provide them facilities as per prison manual. These inmates were forced to live in poor conditions where even food was denied as punishment, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – a group monitoring the conflict in Syria – reported on Saturday.

"Since March 2011, at least 60,000 people lost their lives to torture or to horrible conditions, notably the lack of medication or food, in regime detention centres," the head of the Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, stated.

Archival picture shows Aleppo prison.

According to Rahman, regime forces have arrested a total of 500,000 people since the conflict in the country erupted in 2011. While some have been released and others have died, the whereabouts of thousands of detainees remains unknown.

The infamous military-run Saydnaya prison as well as detention centres run by Syria's notorious air force intelligence and state security forces are where the highest number of deaths were recorded.

The SOHR says it has also compiled a list of 14,456 names – including 110 children – who have died in regime detention centres.

Rights groups have accused the regime of systematically using torture and inhumane practices in these centres.

A UN probe earlier this year also accused the Syrian regime of pursuing a policy of extermination in its jails.

Aside from deaths in regime detention centres, Abdel Rahman said that several thousand people have died while being held by rebels, the DAESH, a terrorist organisation and other groups involved in militancy.

TRTWorld and agencies