Some 13,000 people were hanged and executed by the Syrian government between 2011 and 2015, according to a report by Amnesty International.
The report, Human slaughterhouse: Mass hangings and extermination at Saydnaya prison, says that every week or sometimes twice a week, prisoners in groups of up to 50 were taken from their cells and hanged.
The report also describes “inhuman” conditions at the prison, including deprivation of water, food and medical care.
"The horrors depicted in this report reveal a hidden, monstrous campaign, authorized at the highest levels of the Syrian government, aimed at crushing any form of dissent within the Syrian population," said Lynn Maalouf, deputy director for research at Amnesty International's regional office in Beirut.
"We demand that the Syrian authorities immediately cease extrajudicial executions and torture and inhuman treatment at Saydnaya Prison and in all other government prisons across Syria. Russia and Iran, the government's closest allies, must press for an end to these murderous detention policies.”
The hangings are described as brutal.
"They kept them [hanging] there for 10 to 15 minutes,” a former judge said. “Some didn't die because they are light. For the young ones, their weight wouldn't kill them. The officers' assistants would pull them down and break their necks."
Amnesty International is asking that the hangings immediately be stopped.
“The cold blooded killing of thousands of defenseless prisoners, along with the carefully crafted and systematic programs of psychological and physical torture that are in place inside Saydnaya Prison cannot be allowed to continue. Those responsible for these heinous crimes must be brought to justice," said Lynn Maalouf.
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Publication date: February 7, 2017