Human Rights Watch report identifies 27 Syrian torture centers

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Human Rights Watch has identified 27 facilities throughout Syria where Syrian intelligence agents have tortured tens of thousands of people detained since the start of the uprising in March 2011, the rights group said in a report released Tuesday.

Based on more than 200 interviews with former detainees, including women and children, and defectors from the Syrian military and intelligence agencies, this report focuses on 27 of these detention facilities. For each facility, most of them with cells and torture chambers and one or several underground floors, we provide the exact location, identify the agencies responsible for operating them, document the type of ill-treatment and torture used, and name, to the extent possible, the individuals running them. The facilities included in this report are those for which multiple witnesses have indicated the same location and provided detailed descriptions about the use of torture. The actual number of such facilities is likely much higher.

In charge of Syria’s network of detention facilities are the country’s four main intelligence agencies, commonly referred to collectively as the mukhabarat.

The 12-page report also identifies the commanders of a dozen of the facilities. (Those identified with command responsibility for torture in the report are likely to become the targets of legal cases in the United States and Europe, an expert from the region suggests.) Continue reading