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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Dozens massacred in Syrian prison

AFP reports:
Syrian authorities on Sunday blamed inmates for provoking riots in a prison for political detainees during which human rights groups said at least 25 people were killed.

The official SANA news agency said security forces took action to put down a violent protest which broke out on Saturday by prisoners in Saydnaya jail -- one of Syria's largest -- without making clear if order had been restored.

But the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and a brother of one detainee said rioting continued on Sunday.

According to the Observatory, which is close to the opposition, at least 25 people were killed after military police fired live bullets at Islamist inmates when rioting erupted after a raid by prison guards.
The Syrian Human Rights Commission adds:
The Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC) has learnt from numerous sources in the Syrian capital, that detainees in Sednaya Military Prison, west Damascus, are being subjected to a massacre in which dozens have been killed and injured. Although the prison and intelligence authorities have taken measures to keep this matter discreet, the sources have confirmed that smoke was seen to be emerging from the prison buildings. It is not clear whether this fire was a result of shooting or a product of the release of smoke grenades on prison cells.

It is also important to note that the majority of political detainees in Sednaya prison are of an Islamic background, and they are exposed to the most brutal treatment and horrific torture, as well as the greatest violation of their rights as humans.
Nothing to see here, move along.