Middle East

Amnesty says at least 13,000 people hanged at Syrian prison

  • COMBO - In this combination of two photos of Omar Alshogre, a 21-year Syrian former detainee, now living in Stockholm, Sweden. The left picture is of Alshogre taken on January 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. The right picture is of Alshogre in July 2015 in Antakya, Turkey, a month after he got out of Syria's Saydnaya prison, near Damascus. While in detention, Alshogre said he heard men escorted to be hanged and had himself been called for "execution" but was spared after a brief trial. Amnesty published a new report on Tuesday revealing that as many as 13,000 men were hanged in secret in a Syrian prison between 2011 and 2015, as part of a government campaign of extrajudicial executions. The group says for five years, once or twice weekly, groups of up to 50 people were taken out of their prison cells and hanged to death. (Handout by Omar Alshogre via AP)

    COMBO - In this combination of two photos of Omar Alshogre, a 21-year Syrian former detainee, now living in Stockholm, Sweden. The left picture is of Alshogre taken on January 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. The right picture is of Alshogre in July 2015 in Antakya, Turkey, a month after he got out of Syria's Saydnaya prison, near Damascus. While in detention, Alshogre said he heard men escorted to be hanged and had himself been called for "execution" but was spared after a brief trial. Amnesty published a new report on Tuesday revealing that as many as 13,000 men were hanged in secret in a Syrian prison between 2011 and 2015, as part of a government campaign of extrajudicial executions. The group says for five years, once or twice weekly, groups of up to 50 people were taken out of their prison cells and hanged to death. (Handout by Omar Alshogre via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lynn Maalouf, deputy director of research at Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Amnesty International says Syrian authorities killed at least 13,000 people in mass hangings at a prison north of Damascus known to detainees as the “slaughterhouse.” The group released a report covering the period from the start of the 2011 uprising until 2015, during which Amnesty says groups of 20 to 50 people were hanged at Saydnaya Prison, once or twice a week, in killings authorized by senior officials, including deputies of President Bashar Assad. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

    Lynn Maalouf, deputy director of research at Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Amnesty International says Syrian authorities killed at least 13,000 people in mass hangings at a prison north of Damascus known to detainees as the “slaughterhouse.” The group released a report covering the period from the start of the 2011 uprising until 2015, during which Amnesty says groups of 20 to 50 people were hanged at Saydnaya Prison, once or twice a week, in killings authorized by senior officials, including deputies of President Bashar Assad. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lynn Maalouf, deputy director of research at Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Amnesty International says Syrian authorities killed at least 13,000 people in mass hangings at a prison north of Damascus known to detainees as the “slaughterhouse.” The group released a report covering the period from the start of the 2011 uprising until 2015, during which Amnesty says groups of 20 to 50 people were hanged at Saydnaya Prison, once or twice a week, in killings authorized by senior officials, including deputies of President Bashar Assad. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

    Lynn Maalouf, deputy director of research at Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Amnesty International says Syrian authorities killed at least 13,000 people in mass hangings at a prison north of Damascus known to detainees as the “slaughterhouse.” The group released a report covering the period from the start of the 2011 uprising until 2015, during which Amnesty says groups of 20 to 50 people were hanged at Saydnaya Prison, once or twice a week, in killings authorized by senior officials, including deputies of President Bashar Assad. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)  (The Associated Press)

Amnesty International says Syrian authorities killed at least 13,000 people in mass hangings at a prison north of Damascus known to detainees as the "slaughterhouse."

The group released a report Tuesday covering the period from the start of the 2011 uprising until 2015, during which Amnesty says groups of 20 to 50 people were hanged at Saydnaya Prison, once or twice a week. It says the killings were authorized by senior officials, including deputies of President Bashar Assad.

Amnesty says it interviewed 31 former detainees and more than 50 officials, including prison guards and judges.

Syrian officials rarely comment on widespread allegations of torture in the country's notorious prisons. They have denied accusations of mass killings.