‘Significant abuse’ identified in Syrian regime

Posted by ap507 at Jan 24, 2014 02:15 PM |
Dr Stuart Hamilton discusses findings of study into Syrian detainees

Dr Stuart Hamilton from the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit, which is based at the University, has examined thousands of images of Syrian detainees and has said that many look as if they have experienced ‘significant abuse’.

He said: "The images showed a large number who had been beaten and a significant minority had clearly been strangled."

Dr Hamilton was provided with roughly 26,000 images, of a total of 55,000, showing individuals who are said to have been tortured and executed by the current Syrian regime. These images cover about 11,000 different people.

He said: "The degree of starvation is far beyond what you would expect to see in somebody who is simply in a war zone and didn't have access to adequate nutrition.

"What we've seen is evidence of people who have suffered injuries and suffered apparent causes of death that are not in keeping with being in a war zone.

"You would expect to see people who've been shot, people who may have been in blast injuries, in collapsing buildings, from armed conflict, lawful or unlawful – it's not for me to say.

"But the sorts of injuries that we see, the beating and binding and starvation, is not what you would see in a – if there is such a thing – normal armed conflict."

A report by three former war crimes prosecutors, seen by the BBC and The Guardian newspaper, claims there is evidence that Syria has systematically tortured and executed about 11,000 detainees since the start of the uprising.

Dr Hamilton was invited to examine the images as an expert witness on behalf of the legal team carrying out the investigation.