Amnesty accuses Assad of mass executions

The Syrian regime had up to 13,000 people executed in Sadnaya prison between 2011 and 2015, according to a new report put out by human rights organisation Amnesty International. Commentators demand that Assad and all those responsible for the executions be held to account.

Open/close all quotes
Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

Apparatus of oppression must be destroyed

The West must no longer ignore the systematic torture of presumed members of the opposition in Syria, the Tages-Anzeiger criticises:

“One of the lessons from the Iraq disaster is that the state institutions in Syria must be maintained. However if the apparatus of oppression comprising various secret services is not destroyed and those responsible for this murderous machinery are not held to account, how can there be anything like national reconciliation or enduring peace? In the long term, none of the states that are negotiating peace solutions in Syria can ignore the fate of the thousands of prison inmates. And that also holds for Russia and Iran. They must ensure that the Red Cross has access to these prisons and that the Syrian intelligence services stop torturing and liquidating prisoners.”

Helsingin Sanomat (FI) /

Assad more murderous than IS

Assad's allies must not turn a blind eye to the war crimes committed by the government troops, Helsingin Sanomat admonishes:

“There are entire shelves filled with accusations of atrocities and war crimes committed against civilians in the last five years by the Syrian army and the armed groups that backed it. But Assad has never admitted any misdeeds. Assad is reiterating his inflexible stance because he suspects that during Donald Trump's presidency the US as well as Russia will allow his reign of terror to continue. And he is using the joint fight against the terrorist IS to justify it. The IS is a dreadful organisation, but the Amnesty International report reminds us that Assad's troops are those mainly responsible for the destruction of Syria.”

The Guardian (GB) /

Strongest evidence since Nuremberg

The world must do all it can to ensure that Assad is someday brought to trial, the Guardian demands:

“The Syrian president is not the answer to Isis; his brutality has been a very large part of the problem. The Commission for International Justice and Accountability, a private NGO partially funded by the UK, has been collecting evidence of international crimes in Syria. Its evidence - amassed at great personal risk to Syrian investigators, and including hundreds of thousands of pages of documents – is said to be the strongest 'since Nuremberg'. An eventual trial of Mr Assad is a remote prospect, but it remains a necessary one on two counts. His victims at Saydnaya prison and elsewhere deserve justice; and brutal dictators of the future must be deterred.”