Amnesty condemns torture in Syria

A report published by Amnesty International documents how thousands of prisoners have been subjected to dreadful abuse and tortured to death in the prisons of the Syrian regime since the start of the civil war. The report is a stark appeal to the international community's conscience, commentators say, but doubt that it will lead to a change of approach.

Open/close all quotes
Deutschlandfunk Kultur (DE) /

No peace possible with Assad

The report is unlikely to lead to a shift in thinking in Europe and the US, fears Deutschlandradio Kultur:

“President Bashar al-Assad doesn't want to end the war against his own people. He doesn't want any opposition - armed or unarmed. Anyone who rebels is branded a terrorist and hunted down or disappears into a prison. … The US as well as the European states say that they want to get rid of Assad but reject any serious measures to that end. They were afraid right from the start. … The Assad clan doesn't stand for a secular state in which the country's many religious and ethnic groups live peacefully together! Perhaps the Amnesty report will at least make that clear to the defenders of Assad and the Putin sympathisers, including those who live in Germany.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

An appeal to the world's conscience

The shocking reports coming from Syrian prisons prompt La Vanguardia to demand a reaction from the United Nations:

“The degrading and humiliating treatment prisoners in Syria are being subjected goes beyond breaking their dignity to obtain information, which in itself is a crime against humanity. What we are seeing here is an ideological purge. … In a way it takes us back to the times of the Nazi concentration camps. Back then the stories of escaped prisoners were largely ignored by the international community. This must not happen now. Amnesty International has drawn attention to the conditions in Assad's prisons in the past. But this time the testimonies of survivors are so shocking and precise that they are a stark appeal to the whole world's conscience. The United Nations must set up an investigation to find out the truth, if necessary even against a Russian veto. The war in Syria and the fight against the IS terrorists must not serve as an excuse to turn a blind eye, as we did 70 years ago.”