UN commission calls for humanitarian organisations to be allowed into prisons in Syria

Geneva points to torture and mistreatment of prisoners in the republic

Humanitarian organisations should be allowed into all places of detention in Syria. That was the recommendation made by the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations in that country in Geneva on Monday.

In its report, which covers the period from March 2011 to December 2020, it called for an end to torture and ill-treatment and for detainees to be allowed contact with their families. Prison conditions should also be improved and “independent and humanitarian organisations should be allowed access to all detention facilities”, it said.

The Commission expects countries supporting parties to the conflict to put “pressure on them to implement these recommendations”. It called on UN member states to facilitate the establishment of an “independent mechanism with an international mandate” to coordinate data collection and search for missing persons in Syria.

According to the commission, all parties to the conflict “have deliberately resorted to arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment for almost a decade”. War crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in the process. According to the report, the fate of “tens of thousands of victims <…> remains unknown”.


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