August 22, 2019

Red Cross gets access to Syrian prison

President Assad looking rather uncomfortable talking to Jakob Kellenberger. At least daddy is not alive to see him talking to a human rights representative.

The International Red Cross has been allowed to visit a Syrian prison for the first time since civil unrest broke out five months ago.

Red Cross President Jakob Kellenberger also held talks with President Bashar al-Assad to discuss the treatment of prisoners. Mr Kellenberger said he had discussed “the rules governing the use of force by security forces in the current situation and the obligation to respect the physical and psychological well-being and human dignity of detainees”.

The Red Cross delegtion visited Damascus central prison in Adra suburb on Sunday.

“The Syrian authorities have granted the ICRC access to a place of detention for the first time,” said Mr Kellenberger at the end of a two-day visit to Damascus.

“Initially, we will have access to persons detained by the ministry of the interior and we are hopeful that we will soon be able to visit all detainees.”

Human rights group Amnesty International believes at least 88 Syrian detainees had died in the past five months.

Newswarped suspects that the inmates at Damascus central prison never had it so good for a 24 hour period either side of the Red Cross visit. We also think that telling Assad to be nicer to his people is a bit like asking the devil to be good. It is pointless window dressing.

On the one hand the Red Cross visit is a step in the right direction for improving the lot of detainees in Syria. On the other hand though it is a shameless propaganda showpiece for the Assad regime who has no intention of backing off from the oppression and murder of its own people.