Syrian President Bashar al-Assad dismisses Amnesty report alleging mass executions in Damascus prison

Washington: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad dismissed a report by Amnesty International accusing the authorities of hanging up to 13,000 people over five years in a government prison, in an interview published Friday.

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad. Reuters

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad. Reuters

The human rights group on Tuesday alleged the gruesome mass executions amounted to war crimes and crimes against humanity, saying they are probably still taking place at the Saydnaya prison near Damascus.

The report "put into question the credibility of Amnesty International," Assad told Yahoo News. "It's always biased and politicized. And it's shame for such organization to publish a report without a shred of evidence."

Amnesty said it had interviewed 84 witnesses, including guards, detainees and judges, and alleged a pattern of regular summary executions.

Asked about the report's contention that the hangings were authorized by officials at the highest levels of government, Assad replied: "It's not true, definitely not true."

"We're living in a fake news era," he added. "Everybody knows this."

Syria's justice ministry dismissed the report as "completely false" earlier this week.

More than 310,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began with anti-government protests in March 2011, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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Updated Date: Feb 10, 2017 17:50:49 IST

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