Assad regime has freed Syrian prisoners on condition that they join the army upon their release, the president of the opposition Syrian National Coalition said on Friday, citing reports from Adra Central Prison near Damascus.
“Preliminary reports indicate that between 100-150 prisoners have been released under this arrangement but taken directly to the front lines in Aleppo and Qamishli. It is believed the regime is inclined to take those released to the front lines with ISIS in particular to minimize chances of defection,” Anas al-Abdah told Reuters.
On Thursday, U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said he had information from Russia and Syria that “some substantial number of fighters appeared to have been released”.
He suggested the release could be timed to coincide with the holy month of Ramadan or as a unilateral gesture by the government, but he was seeking more information to confirm that those released were “genuine fighters, political prisoners”. Syrian prisoners
His office had no more information 24 hours later, and referred Reuters back to his previous statement.
Al-Abdah said those reportedly released were not political prisoners but mostly criminal convicts, especially those jailed for drug crimes.
“The Syrian National Coalition is deeply concerned by those reports and calls on the international community, particularly the U.N. Special Envoy and his team, to take a firm stance of the regime’s hideous manoeuvres and blackmail tactics it typically uses with regards to the issue of detainees,” he said.
Turtured To Death
The Syrian opposition has long demanded the release of Syrian prisoners, especially women and children, and de Mistura has appointed a former Red Cross official, Eva Svoboda, to take charge of the issue.
The prisoners in Assad regime’s prisons are treated in non-human ways. They are being arrested for no reason or without charge, then forced under torture to admit charges they didn’t do.
They are being starvated, turtured and beaten to death just for opposing Assad regime. Many of them die in Assad prisons while their families don’t know anything about their fate.
The Syrian network for Human Rights (SNHR) issued its periodic report on the outcome of Victims of Torture in Syria for the month of May 2016 documented the killing of at least 51 individuals, due to torture.
The report states that the Syrian regime has refused to recognize any arrests it had made as it accused Al-Qaeda and the terrorist groups such as ISIS of committing these crimes.
SNHR acquire its information from former prisoners and prisoners’ families where most of the families get information about their beloved ones who are in prison by bribing the officials in charge. In many cases, the Syrian authorities don’t hand over the corps to the parents, and the parents are often afraid to go to receive the bodies of their relatives or even personal belongings of military hospitals; for fear of arrest.
The report documented 46 deaths due to torture at the hands of Assad regime forces.