Syria: Police Kill 25 in Sednaya Massacre

The Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC) announced that a massacre had occurred on July 5 at the Sadnaya military prison, west Damascus. At least 25 detainees had been killed by the Syrian police, according to SHREC that received phone calls from inside the prison during the massacre. The detainees started a protest at 7am to call for an improvement on their conditions but the Syrian police escalated its reaction and shot at the unarmed detainees causing an unconfirmed number of deaths and injuries.

Meanwhile, the Syrian News Agence, SANA, issued a statement from the authorities saying that it has “restored calm” over the prison after “riots” been caused by “terrorists” and “extremists”.

Syrian bloggers inside as well in the diaspora reflected on this tragic incident. We start with Ahmad (Ar) blogging from Syria who lists the names of the Syrian detainees who lost their lives when they defenselessly got shot at by the Syrian police:

1- Zakariya Affash.

2- Mohammad Majawish.

3- Abdelbaqi Khattab.

4- Ahmad Shalaq.

5- Khaled Bilal.

6- Moayad Al Ali.

7- Muhannad Al Omar.

8- Khodar Alloush.

9- Mahmud Abu Rashed.

Ahmad asserts to his readers that the detainees did not use weapons as they took control of the prison, but through negotiations with the Syrian police they surrendered. He also mentions news spreading about the possibility of the detainees’ parents being able to visit their sons, husbands and relatives in prison last night, but Ahmad says no such thing has confirmed so far.

Contrary to what human rights sites have been saying about the protest held for political reasons, Ahmad ends his post by explaining the real reasons behind this second protest in the Syrian prison:

الهدف منها تحسين الخدمات و الحد من الاكظاظ المفرط ، و تقليل جولات التعذيب الذي يعاني منه السجناء الإسلاميون بكثرة كما يُشاع في الفترة الأخيرة. بالمناسبة : المدوّن السوري طارق بياسي معتقل في هذا السجن ، سجن صيدنايا ، نسأل الله أن يحميه و يحفظه.“

“The reason was to call for an improvement of conditions in prison cells, to lessen the congestion, and decrease the torture rounds that “Islamists” detainees suffer from in prison…By the way, Syrian blogger Tariq Baiasi is held in this prison, Sednaya Prison. We ask God to protect him.”

Our next blogger Gottfried Stutz demands upon the Syrian regime to stop the “immediate killing” of the unarmed detainees and calls for the release of all the detainees and prisoners of conscience:

“Rather than send a president and a minister to get a sun tan with Nicolas Sarkozy on Place de la Concorde during the Bastille Day parade, the Syrian regime has a duty to inform its people about that prison, to stop the killing immediately, to hold fair trials, and to free all political and opinion detainees.”

Another Syrian blogger, in fact one of the new voices on the Syrian aggregator, Syria Planet, is Disaffection whose first comment on the massacre was: “there’s no smoke without fire”, he explains:

This incident must have been provoked, got out of hand, while the security forces, instigating it, and out of sheer incompetence lost control where by reinforcements had to be called in to contain the situation at any cost. The usual cost.”

Finally we end up this round up with a quote from another anonymous new Syrian blogger, Jabz, who blames the regime for its constant “failures”:

“This is horrific stuff, shame on the government. This is not the first time the government has failed to do what it’s supposed to do this year, with fighting occurring between two sects in Hama early this year.”

It is notable to mention that this is the second time in two months that the detainees and prisoners at Sednaya prison protest against their dreadful imprisonment conditions.

Families of the prisoners and detainees have plead the Syrian President to stop this hideous treatment of unarmed citizens and asked to know the fate of their relatives.

This second massacre marked the 27th anniversary of Tadmur (Palmyra) Prison massacre. Click here for more information.

May their souls rest in peace.


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