A team of senior war crimes prosecutors released a report on Monday accusing the Syrian regime of carrying out “systemic torture and killings” of thousands of men who are thought to be victims of the regime’s notorious security agencies.
The 31-page document was commissioned by Qatar, a key backer of the Syrian rebels, and given toCNN and The Guardian a day before Syrian peace talks were due to be held in Geneva.
The report was written by Desmond de Silva, former chief prosecutor of the special court for Sierra Leone; Geoffrey Nice, the former lead prosecutor in the trial of former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic; and David Crane, who indicted Liberian president Charles Taylor.
The document relies on the unauthenticated testimony and photographs given by the source, who remains unidentified for security purposes.
The informant, a photographer who claims to have defected from the Syrian military police, presented forensic experts commissioned by the London legal firm representing Qatar with around 55,000 digital images of 11,000 dead detainees.
He claims they died in captivity before being taken to a military hospital to be photographed.
“Overall there was evidence that a significant number of the deceased were emaciated and a significant minority had been bound and/or beaten with rod-like objects,” said the report.
‘Smoking guns’ evidence against Assad
Some had no eyes while others showed signs of strangulation or electrocution, according to the 31-page document.