Report: Extortion in Syrian prisons to fund the Assad regime

Corrupt prison officials and military personnel in Syria are using systematic blackmailing of inmates and their families to fund the Assad regime, according to a recently published report.

Between 2011 and 2015, mass executions of 20 to 50 prisoners were reportedly conducted at Sednaya Prison, sometimes twice a week (Credit: ADMSP, Creative Commons Licence)

Since 2010, they have been forcing bribes to prison and prison officials Military officials by families of people detained in exchange for information, visits, and releases have likely reached around $ 900 million, according to the paper released Monday by the Association of Detainees and Missing At Sednaya Prison ( ADMSP).

It concludes that the country’s government has made “disappearances and arrests” industry for the good of the state.

While the figures represent significantly conservative estimates due to a lack of available data, the organization assumes that since then well over 100,000 people have forcibly disappeared in Syria. In 2010 a further 250,000 were arrested and subsequently released.

“Arrests and monetary blackmail of the population represent a major source of funding for the state and its repressive apparatus,” explains ADMSP.

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The Assad- The regime has a long history of enforced disappearances, which is one of the main strategies of Hafez Al-Assad, father of current President Bashar Al-Assad, in enforcing disagreements during his tenure as head of state between 1971 and 2000.

With the significant increase in the number of Since the Syrian Revolution of 2011, ADMSP has been proposing the systematization of bribes was developed by the authorities as a strategy for self-financing, “especially after the regime lost control of large parts of the country in 2012 and in the following years.”

Die Most arrests took place at military checkpoints requiring civilians. Although the data are incomplete, the latest report finds that the lion’s share of those detained is heralds from Idlib Governorate, one of the last remaining strongholds controlled by rebels and jihadists who oppose the Assad regime.

Syria’s treatment of detainees – arbitrary or not – has sparked an international outcry from governments and human rights organizations alike.

Amnesty International has previously reported on mass executions that took place in the notorious Sednaya Prison between 2011 and 2015. Between 20 and 50 inmates were hung up twice a week in the middle of the night.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Human Rights Network published a report in 2019 describing no fewer than 72 methods of torture against inmates, including scalding with boiling hot water and removing Body parts as well as rape and other sexual abuse and allows junior doctors to train prisoners for surgical training.

On Saturday, Syria again condemned the sanctions imposed by the United States on state institutions and high-ranking members of the government and business elite, many of whom were accused of having benefited from the war that has ravaged the Middle East country for more than a decade.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry described the economic restrictions as “crimes against humanity” s.

OCCRP / TechConflict.Com

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