BEIRUT – Syria's justice ministry is rejecting an Amnesty International report of mass hangings of as many as 13,000 people in a prison near Damascus, calling the allegations "totally untrue" and part of a smear campaign.
The ministry's statement was published by Syria's state-run news agency on Wednesday, a day after Amnesty released its report.
It says "misleading and inciting" media outlets carried the Amnesty report with the intention to smear the Syrian government's reputation on the world stage — particularly after recent "military victories against terrorists groups."
The government refers to all armed opposition as "terrorists."
It also says the allegations are "baseless" because executions in Syria follow due process and various stages of litigations.
Amnesty's report says the mostly civilian victims were hanged after military trials that lasted minutes.