The Syrian regime is guilty of terrible war crimes – the killing of civilians, destruction of property, and the use of chemical weapons against defenseless civilian populations. The regime has also committed crimes against humanity which, in my view, include: the systematic killing, arrest, forced disappearance of countless individuals, as well as the torture, and death under torture of civilians, starvation of whole neighborhoods, acts of sexual violence, destruction of property, looting, forced displacement, and demographic change.
All of this characterizes a systematic, extensive and wide-ranging policy issued at the highest level of authority.
Perhaps the most heinous crimes against humanity committed in Syria with the largest numbers of victims were the arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearances, torture and killing by way of torture. Documents indicate that more than 600,000 Syrians, including more than 50,000 women and thousands of children have been arrested or forcibly disappeared for periods ranging from one month to several years. All faced systematic torture and sexual violence.
One hundred and fifty thousand Syrians are still missing in the prisons of the regime. Fifteen thousand have been documented by name as having been killed under torture, starvation or through denial of medical care. However, given that the facts have not yet been fully documented on a case-by-case basis, according to testimonies collected by the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research. It turns out that about 80,000 victims died due to torture, starvation or inhumane conditions of detention. The photos of the Caesar files provide an accurate account of what the detainees endured – and continue to suffer – in the face of harsh conditions and systematic killing.