Tentative deal to end political revolt at Syrian prison

A deal with the Syrian regime could eventually lead to the pardon and release of 26 political prisoners being held without charges.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A still image taken from a video uploaded on social media apparently showing regime forces outside Hama prison during the revolt on May 7, 2016.

A tentative deal has been reached to end a political revolt at Syria's Hama prison by nearly 800 mostly political prisoners.

The deal with the Syrian regime could eventually lead to the pardon and release of those held without charges.

Rights activists who have contact with inmates, say the deal brokered on Sunday would end a mutiny that started last week.

Inmates had seized the prison and held some guards hostage.

The regime tried storming the prison on Friday by using tear gas bombs and rubber bullets, but failed.

The revolt began after five inmates were to be taken to the notorious Sednaya prison for the execution of death sentences passed by an extra-judicial military tribunal.

Inmates had also appealed to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) after prison officials cut electricity and water amid food shortages and serious medical conditions among some of the inmates.

Leading Syrian rights activist and former detainee, Mazen Darwish, said a verbal agreement had been reached, but did not give details.

The regime's interior ministry denies reports about the deal and is yet to discuss the issue.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) had confirmed a deal was in the works to release 26 detainees.

Authorities previously released 46 detainees under Red Crescent mediation until negotiations broke down.

Buses and ambulances evacuating people from four besieged Syrian towns wait at an exchange point supervised by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, in the town of Qalaat al Madiq, in Hama province, Syria April 21, 2016. (Reuters)



The prison itself was the scene of protests in 2008 by detainees that led to several being shot and killed.

International rights groups say thousands of detainees are held in regime prisons without charge and many of them are tortured to death, which authorities deny.

TRTWorld, Reuters