Report: Syria Tortures Pro-Reform Detainees

Jerusalem, Aug. 31 - The Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad has killed more than 2,200 Syrians and jailed thousands.

A new Amnesty International report, Deadly detention: Deaths in custody amid popular protest in Syria, suggests that the Syrian regime also tortures detained protesters, “including 10 children, some as young as 13.” The report found that the regime killed 88 people in custody. In a “brutal disdain for life,” said Amnesty International’s researcher on Syria, Neil Sammonds, there were horrific accounts of systematic persecution of Syrian civilians.

A “video of 45 bodies of detainees, taken by family members or activists after they were returned to relatives or dumped on the roadside, was obtained by Amnesty and passed to forensic pathologists,” The Guardian reported.

Syria, Iran and Hezbollah promulgate terror in the Middle East and around the world and aim to destroy Israel. In May and June, Assad orchestrated the provocative infiltration of Israel’s northern border by Palestinian and Syrian civilians in what was widely referred to as a diversionary tactic from his own domestic issues. Also, Hamas’ headquarters are based in Syria’s capital, Damascus. Khaled Mashaal, the political leader of Hamas who vows to never recognize a Jewish state of Israel, is based there.

The United States recently called on Assad to step down and allow true reforms in the country. It also froze the American-based assets of three Syrian officials - Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali and Assad’s adviser Bouthaina Shaaban. They were singled out for being “principle defenders of the regime’s activities,” the U.S. Department of Treasury said in a statement publicized by Al Jazeera.

While the EU and the U.S. are urging Assad to take heed of the overwhelming pro-reform movement by resigning, Iran has reportedly been stoking the regime’s quashing of protesters.

In an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Karim Sadjadpour explained that Iran’s close ties to Syria means the fall of Assad would be a “tremendous blow” to the Iranian regime.

Sadjadpour pointed out that Syria allows Iran to supply its “crown jewel” in the Middle East, Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbollah movement, and that despite comments by Iran’s foreign minister that Syria should listen to protesters’ demands, Iran is actually “doing everything in its power to ensure the survival of the Assad regime.”

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Andrew Tabler said that Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erodgan called on the Syrian regime to stop the violence while the Arab League dispatched Secretary-General Nabil al-Araby to Damascus to try to stop the bloodshed.

Tabler said that the fall of Assad’s regime would likely decisively break the “Syria-Iran nexus.”

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