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    Photos of Syrian torture victims pile pressure on Assad

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    euronews (in English)

    by euronews (in English)

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    A new report documenting human rights abuses by Syrian president Bashar al Assad and rebels has been put together by a team of international lawyers.

    It comes ahead of talks on gaining access to Syria’s detention facilities. But for some, it’s not enough.

    Syrian refugee Abu Ali told euronews: “We have no hopes pegged on the Geneva II conference. Those of here in the camp don’t count on it. Our faith lies solely in God.”

    Um Omar, a female refugee said: “We are sick of this, we are tired. Death is easier than this, we pray for death but it escapes us. We want to die so that we can rest from all this hunger and poverty.”

    Over two years, fifty-five thousand photos were taken by a photographer with the Syrian military police. Code-named “Caesar”, he secretly worked for the opposition and smuggled them out on a memory stick as he fled the country.

    He took them to the Syrian National Movement, backed by the Qatar government, which is behind rebel groups and continuously calls for Assad to be prosecuted.

    The images detailed eleven thousand prisoners allegedly tortured to death by the regime.

    Most victims were young men, with the bodies showing telltale signs of torture, some without eyes and others displaying ligature or electrocution marks.

    The evidence is likely to ramp up the pressure on Assad although calls for him to appear at the international criminal court in The Hague are unlikely to materialise as Syria is not a member of the court.

    A 50 year-old mother who didn’t want to be identified spoke of her 15 year-old son. All she had left to remember him by was his watch: “They said: ‘We found him. He was killed, tortured.’ My son told me they killed him.”

    For now the international community’s hands are still tied and they can only stand and watch as Syria’s citizens continue to be caught in the crossfire of war.