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Friday, June 21, 2013

EMERGENCY: Dire Conditions in #Aleppo Central Prison Today!

Basel Watfa has just sent us this message from a confidential friend about inhuman and murderous conditions being faced by the prisoners in Aleppo Central Prison:
Aleppo Central Prison- The massive tragedy

Including political and underage girls, around 4500 prisoners in Aleppo central prison are suffering what may named: the worst circumstances over the Syrian catastrophe.

100 gram of unbaked dry flour representing the daily allowance per every prisoner. After running out of plastic utensils, covers and clothes which have been fired to bake the kneading, prisoners now are just mixing flour with water to eat..

Due to extreme lack of food, diseases widely spread among the prisoners, Scab, all types of allergy, Undernourishment, Anemia, and the most dangerous is TUBERCULOSIS. More than 225 were infected by Tuberculosis, 6 were dead and the number is escalating dramatically. Once the diagnosis shows Tuberculosis, the infected person isolated with the others who have the same condition but without any kind of medication or food improvement.

Most of the prisoners lost around 20-25% of their weight. They lost all normal life conditions even the cleaning liquids, mattresses, covers and clothes as mentioned before. Since months they are living in complete darkness and nobody can see who is beside him/her. The Masters of the situation are both: illness and fear..!!

The regime army is using these prisoners as human shields, and seized the Prison storage of food and medicines. Massacres being implemented inside the prison continuously. More than 110 were killed and around 200 wounded and left with no medical care. Many torture cases led to death in addition to continuous executions. Finally: threats were heard to turn the prison into a grave yard.

Please Spread this Human Distress..

More Background on the situation at Aleppo Central Prison

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published this yesterday:
Urgent call: ICRC should head to the Aleppo Central Prison
The SOHR reports that the humanitarian conditions in the Aleppo Central Prison have plummeted to a catastrophic level due to the severe lack of medicine and food. 3 prisoners died of Tuberculosis in the besieged prison yesterday for lack of medicine, other deaths have been reported. There is an outbreak of Scabies amongst the prisoners and the guards. Food is very scarce, and only reaches the prison by helicopter drops.

More than 100 prisoners died in the prison since April 2013, killed by the rebel bombardment, malnourishment, lack of medicine and execution by the regime forces.

The rebel factions began the move to siege on the prison on the beginning of April 2013, in operation "freeing the prisoners". It began with taking control of the Jandoul roundabout, Riuhbet Shqeif, the Shqeif neighbourhood and the Henderat camp and mainly the road that lead to the prison. This cut off the main supply line to the prison. The battles and siege began on 27/4/2013 with the taking over of the Kaziya checkpoint, which is by the prison. Buildings by the prison were taken over on 2/5/2013, that was the beginning of the full siege on the Aleppo Central Prison.

The battle over the prison began when 2 men detonated car bombs by the main gate checkpoint of the prison on 15/5/2013; rebels took over the police station by the prison, in the Msalmiya area. On 23/5/2013 a rebel suicide car bomb by the main entrance to the prison caused the regime forces in control of the prison to retreat into the building, and rebels took over several developing buildings within the prison gates.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights urges the Red Cross and all other international humanitarian organisations to go to the site of the prison immediately in order to transport the urgently required food and medical assistance to the besieged prisoners. We demand that an agreement be reached to permanently let in the necessary humanitarian needs of those within the besieged area, water is a particular necessity that requires several visits.

Footage of rebel armed vehicles besieging the prison

Footage of a failed helicopter food supply drop
Radio Free Syria has just published this:
URGENT: 18-06-2013: 4,500 prisoners in the besieged Central Prison in Aleppo are at risk of imminent death, with many dying already of tuberculosis and hunger, having been starved by the regime for some time. The prisoners, most of whom are political detainees and prisoners of conscience, are also threatened with being executed by regime personnel for their "terrorism" in opposing the regime.

All regional and international humanitarian organisations must mobilise immediately to ensure that these detainees are assisted as soon as possible with medicine, food, and humanitarian relief and aid. Please communicate with regional and international organisations immediately to raise awareness of the plight of these prisoners and demand relief for them.

From: Union of Syrian Christians and Muslims Against Bashar Assad
This was posted to OmarSyria On 14 June 2013, it was translated from the Arabic posted to Eyewitness Aleppo:
The Situation in Aleppo’s Central Prison

The son of a prisoner in Aleppo central prison says his father sent him a letter complaining of a miserable situation there, says there has been a lack of water, electricity, phone line for weeks. Food is scarce and there is only a bit of flour left, enough for another week of bread, as prisoners eat half a loaf each day.

Prisoners are dying and were being put in morgue fridges but due to a lack of electricity bodies are decaying, so the prisoners dug into the prison ground and made a mass grave for the dead. 200 have died so far, some from hunger and others due to splinters from mortar shelling.

This situation is due to the FSA’s besiegement of the prison and operation to free the prisoners and take over its strategic location. However the liberation is not worth it if it is going to cause so much suffering and take so many lives.
Yalla Souriya has this page of videos from the fighting around Aleppo Central Prison 28-29 May 2013.

A month ago The Telegraph carried this report:
Rebels call off Aleppo prison siege after troops throw inmates out window

Rebel forces besieging the main prison in Aleppo claimed they were forced to call off an assault after the troops defending it began shooting inmates and throwing them out of the windows.
By Richard Spencer, Aleppo
9:20PM BST 16 May 2013
Forces belonging to the Free Syrian Army have managed to fight their way around the northern outskirts of the city, where the jail is situated, since seizing the nearby Rangers Academy three months ago.

They drove troops out of an unfinished extension to the prison earlier this week, and on Wednesday drove holes, including by blowing up two cars, in the wall surrounding the main compound where up to 4,000 prisoners are being held by several hundred troops.

But they failed to take the prison itself on Friday. "I saw ten bodies being thrown out today," said Anas, 30, a soldier speaking after withdrawing from the rebels' front line. "Yesterday, we attacked at about 5 o'clock, but when we began they started throwing bodies through the window.

"The bodies are still there, and we are close enough to smell them. We cannot get them because they are in the line of fire." He said the attack had stopped to prevent more prisoners being killed. More...
Rebels Fight to Free 4,000 Prisoners at Aleppo Central Prison - Torture Center 5-16-13

FSA and SAA Battle for Aleppo Central Prison 15-5

Finally, yesterday SANA had this comforting denial:
Official source denies lack of medicine inside Central Prison of Aleppo
Jun 20, 2013
ALEPPO, (SANA) - An official source denied reports of mass media which are partners in the Syrian bloodshed about the death of several prisoners due to the lack of medicine inside the Central Prison of Aleppo.

The source affirmed in a statement to SANA reporter on Thursday that all kinds of medicines are available inside the Prison, adding that there is no one among the prisoners who died of the shortage of medicine.

The source described the news broadcasted on some mass media about the shortage of medicine inside the Prison as untrue, pointing out that these news come in the frame of the feverish media war imposed on Syria.

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