Assad Regime Attacks Hama Prison
Justice for Detainees in Syria, (JDS) working with activists and lawyers in Syria to release detainees in Syria, has been informed by trusted sources inside Hama's Central Prison that Bashar al Assad's Syrian military forces stormed and fired tear gas into Hama Central Prison at 6:00 PM Damascus time, on May 6th 2016. This was in response to a prisoner protest against the transfer of five prisoners with death sentences to an unknown location. Prisoner-led negotiations with the regime broke down and earlier this week the Red Crescent Society intervened and negotiated the release of 30 prisoners from Hama prison.
The Syrian government's storming of the Hama prison has had an immediately devastating impact on the prisoners and has led to at least 25 cases of suffocation among the prisoners as of now. In addition, the release of tear gas inside the cells has led to the outbreak of multiple fires inside the prison. We have been informed that some of the detainees inside are trying to regain calm and help keep each other alive. The Syrian regime's military forces have also started shooting at detainees but no injuries have been confirmed as yet. Justice for Detainees in Syria received several videos of the attack in Hama Prison and is able to corroborate the evidence.
We, Justice for Detainees in Syria Board and staff, call for the immediate involvement of the International Red Cross; we demand that the IRC enter the Hama Central Prison immediately in order to save the lives of the detainees who are in desperate need of urgent medical care. We also call for international human rights organizations to take immediate action in protecting the lives of detainees inside the Hama Prison. Furthermore, we demand that the United States' delegate to the United Nations support us in stopping this latest crime against humanity committed by the Syrian regime against its own people and against the unarmed detainees.