DAMASCUS – Amnesty International has said it believes that at least 88 people have died in detention in Syria during the past five months, according to the BBC. It says those who died, including 10 children, were subjected to beatings, burns, electric shocks and other abuse.
The group says it believes all of those who died were arrested after taking part in anti-government protests. Foreign journalists have been blocked from entering Syria and the reports could not immediately be verified.
The allegations, published in a report, come shortly after the Syrian government denied persistent reports of at least one mass grave being uncovered in the restive southern city of Deraa. “These deaths behind bars are reaching massive proportions, and appear to be an extension of the same brutal disdain for life that we are seeing daily on the streets of Syria,” said Neil Sammonds, Amnesty’s researcher on Syria. Meanwhile, as reports of violent crackdowns on pro-democracy demonstrators escalated, activists said they are growing disillusioned waiting for the world to intervene on the crisis in Syria. “We would welcome and want the international community’s support and help. But whether this is happening or is going to take place or not, Syrians are not backing down because we were disappointed again and again,” Syrian political activist Ausama Monajed said, quoted by CNN.