Human Rights Watch Multimedia Release  

SYRIA: Torture Centers Revealed

For 27 Detention Sites: Locations, Commanders’ Names, Torture Methods

(New York, July 3, 2012) – Former detainees and defectors have identified the locations, agencies responsible, torture methods used, and, in many cases, the commanders in charge of 27 detention facilities run by Syrian intelligence agencies, Human Rights Watch said in a multimedia report released today. The systematic patterns of ill-treatment and torture that Human Rights Watch documented clearly point to a state policy of torture and ill-treatment and therefore constitute a crime against humanity, Human Rights Watch said.

The report is based on more than 200 interviews conducted by Human Rights Watch since the beginning of anti-government demonstrations in Syria in March 2011. The report includes maps locating the detention facilities, video accounts from former detainees, and sketches of torture techniques described by numerous people who witnessed or experienced torture in these facilities.

The facilities cited in the report are those for which multiple witnesses have indicated the same location and provided detailed descriptions of torture. The actual number of detention facilities used by intelligence agencies is probably much higher.

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VIDEO FEATURE PRODUCED BY HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH



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MAPS

To embed the interactive map, click here.

OVERVIEW MAP

2010 Marcus Bleasdale/VII


This map shows 27 detention centers that were identified by multiple witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch has interviewed more than 200 people who experienced or witnessed torture, including defectors from intelligence agencies who participated in abuses.
© 2012 Human Rights Watch



CITY MAPS

2010 Marcus Bleasdale/VII


These maps show the locations of detention centers that were identified by multiple witnesses. Using satellite imagery, Human Rights Watch asked the victims and defectors to point out the buildings where torture took place. Former detainees and defectors corroborated the findings by describing the facilities in detail and drawing layouts of the floors where they were detained and interrogated. It also states the names of the known commanders. The report sets out where there is evidence of direct, indirect or command responsibility of the commanders, but Human Rights Watch does not have evidence of this applying in each case.
© 2012 Human Rights Watch

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GRAPHICS

2010 Marcus Bleasdale/VII


This table shows the agency, branch, commander of branch, documented torture, statements by witnesses, and the exact coordinates of 27 detention centers across six cities in Syria. These centers were identified by multiple witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch has evidence in some but not all cases that the head of the branch in each branch was directly involved or ordered the use of torture, or should be held responsible under the criminal concept of command responsibility, as its use was so widespread in the detention centers that the heads of the branches should have known about it and therefore bear responsibility. These cases are set out in the report.
© 2012 Human Rights Watch


2010 Marcus Bleasdale/VII


Human Rights Watch commissioned a Syrian artist to produce sketches based on statements received from former detainees and security force defectors. They depict six of the most commonly used torture methods in detention centers across Syria — shabeh, dulab, beating with object, falaqa, electrocution, and basat al-reeh. They are not representations of any specific individuals.
© 2012 Human Rights Watch


2010 Marcus Bleasdale/VII


Diagrams produced by SITU Studio and Forensic Architecture, an ERC-funded project.
Diagrams must run with credit

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