Author Topic: Starved, tortured & throttled: The true horror of how Assad’s soldiers executed  (Read 4868 times)

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Howard Bourne

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Starved, tortured then throttled: The true horror of how Assad’s soldiers execute rebel prisoners is revealed in new images
A second cache of photos of victims of torture has been released
Taken by man tasked with 'recording deaths in custody' by Syrian regime
Total of 55,000 photos which lawyers say are evidence of extreme torture
Could be used to bring charges of war crimes against Bashar al-Assad

By Sara Malm
PUBLISHED: 16:18 GMT, 23 January 2014  | UPDATED: 07:58 GMT, 24 January 2014

More photographs showing the maimed bodies of alleged victims of ‘systematic killings’ in Syrian prisons have been released today.
The second cache of photos paints an even clearer image of the horrendous conditions and gruesome torture in government-run jails in Syria.
The images, some of the 55,000 leaked by a witness ‘tasked with recording deaths in custody’, were taken between 2011 and 2013.


Shocking: A second set of pictures from the 55,000 photograph dossier showing alleged victims of torture and systematic killings in government-run prisons in Syria has been released

Murder: The corpses are said to all be members of rebel forces who have been kept in Syrian jail by al-Assad's military Police

The second release echoes warnings from human right's experts earlier this week that the first set of images only showed the tip of the iceberg.

The pictures were smuggled out of Syria by a military police photographer, who has been saving the files over two years, and handed to the Opposition
When the first photographs were released earlier this week, they were described as 'clear evidence' of crimes against humanity by a team of war crimes prosecutors.
They show emaciated corpses with strangulation marks, cuts, bruising and signs of electrocution – evidence of extreme torture, claim investigators. Some victims are shown to have had their eyes removed

The person who leaked the photographs says he was a part of the Syrian military police for 13 years and it was his job to photograph dead bodies brought to military hospitals from government jails

Proof of war crimes: The photos were all taken during the Syrian civil war, between 2011 and 2013, and smuggled out of the Country

Stomach turning: The bodies are all lined up, side by side, before their injuries are documented, allegedly by Syrian government Forces

True evil: This horrific photo shows a man who shirt is covered in blood, with a rusty chain embedded into his stomach

The bodies depicted in the photographs are all said to be members of rebel groups killed in detention under torture and starvation.
They show handwritten notes by on the faces and the bodies of the corpses, and allegedly used by the Syrian army as the records of death sentence enforcements, carried out systematically in government-run prisons.
On Tuesday Foreign Secretary William Hague, as well as the U.S. government, condemned the crimes shown in the photographs, and demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice.
Mr Hague described the images as 'compelling and horrific', and said: 'It is important those who have perpetrated these crimes are one day held to account.'
A spokesman from the U.S. State Department said: 'These reports suggest widespread and apparently systematic violations by the regime. These most recent images ... are extremely disturbing. They're horrible to look at.'
The initial 31-page report was commissioned by Carter-Ruck solicitors in London on behalf of the Qatari government, which supports the Syrian uprising.
It was released as peace talks began in Switzerland on Wednesday to try to end the three-year conflict.

Mediating: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sits beside U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi as he addresses a news conference in Montreux on Wednesday

Pro-government: Supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad outside the opening of the Geneva II peace talks, in Montreux, Switzerland yesterday

The images released are said to show victims of 'systematic killings' in prisons run by President Bashar al-Assad, pictured earlier this week in Damascus

Sir Desmond de Silva, one of the Carter-Ruck lawyers who compiled a report on the credibility of the images, said that the evidence 'documented industrial-scale killing.' He pointed out that because the images purport to come from just one part of Syria, the human rights abuses could be much more widespread.
‘This is a smoking gun of a kind we didn’t have before. It makes a very strong case indeed,’ he said.
‘It is the tip of the iceberg because this is 11,000 in just one area.'

About 130,000 people have been killed and a quarter of Syrians driven from their homes in the civil war, which began with peaceful protests against 40 years of Assad family rule and has descended into a sectarian conflict, with the opposing sides armed and funded by Sunni Arab states and Shi'ite Iran.
High-level mediating has yielded little so far, but Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN mediator who is meeting separately today with each Syrian delegation, said there are signs they might be willing to bend on humanitarian aid, ceasefires and prisoner exchanges.
Amid hostile exchanges at the peace talks in Switzerland, Syria’s government ridiculed demands by opposition leaders and their Western backers including Britain for Assad to stand down, saying it would never happen.

The feet of the photographer and a colleague can be seen in this photograph next to the emaciated remains of a prisoner

Evidence: One man with a white beard and grey hair has several open wounds on his arm and chest

Purple bruising and lacerations cover the upper body of another male victim photographed by the military police in Syria