Friday, July 27, 2012

Syria: Inmate Describes Fatal Assault on Prisoners

Grant UN Observers Immediate Access to Homs, Aleppo Prisons

Human Rights Watch
July 27, 2012

"(New York) – The Syrian government should immediately grant United Nations observers full access to Homs and Aleppo central prisons to check on prisoners who may be at risk of violent reprisals following prison riots, Human Rights Watch said today.

“Samir,” an inmate in the old section of the Homs central prison, told Human Rights Watch by phone that a riot broke out on July 21, 2012, and that prisoners took over parts of the prison. In response, he said, government forces surrounded the facility, used live rounds and teargas to attack the prisoners, and cut off food and water supplies. Samir reported at least seven deaths, including three children, and an activist reported at least three more......

“The uncertainty surrounding the fate of inmates in Homs and Aleppo shows the urgent need for UN monitors to get inside these prisons and publicly report on their findings,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The Syrian government should be on notice that the international community is watching, and that any violent crackdown in prisons will not go unpunished.”....."

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