Report: Syria Holding Tens of Thousands of Political Prisoners

Human Rights Watch says many of the jailed regime opponents, including businessmen, medics, and software developers, are being tortured

  • Share
  • Read Later
Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Men pass by a building damaged during clashes between the Free Syrian Army and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's troops in Azaz, north of Aleppo, Aug. 3, 2012.

The regime of embattled Syrian strongman Bashar Assad is unlawfully holding tens of thousands of political prisoners as his country’s two-and-a-half-year civil war drags on, Human Rights Watch said in a report Thursday.

The jailed dissidents, according to the group, include medics who treated protesters, businessmen accused of raising money for Syrians displaced by the fighting and software developers who worked with citizen journalists, the Associated Press reports.

The report includes 21 accounts of Syrians who said they’d been beaten with batons, cables and metal rods while in custody. Some reported being raped and sexually abused.