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Massive riot in Syrian jail

The Sydney News.Net
Saturday 5th July, 2008

A jail for political prisoners has erupted in extreme violence following a crackdown by guards.

As many as twenty five prisoners have been shot dead by guards as fighting broke out between the two parties.

The Saydnaya prison is now in chaos with the prisoners reportedly holding hostages.

Inmates, fearing for their lives, have made telephone calls to their families, a Syrian-based human rights group, and also the BBC. One inmate told the BBC he believed the death toll was higher.

"They shackled our hands behind us, confiscated our clothes and possessions, and beat us. And they insulted the Koran, they trod on the Koran," he told the BBC's Arabic service.

"Islamist prisoners started a riot inside the prison this morning," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement on Saturday.

"Shooting is continuing against the prisoners," the group said, saying some prisoners had fled to the roof of the prison to escape the violence.

Muhanad al-Hasni of the Syrian Human Rights Organisation, told Al Jazeera, "We could see columns of smoke from inside the prison. We can't tell if it is gas bombs or fire. We were denied access into the prison."

Saydnaya prison was built in 1987 and can hold up to 10,000 prisoners.

Ammar al-Qurabi, of Syria's National Organisation for Human Rights (NOHR), told the Dubai-based al-Arabiya TV, that it was too early to get a clear figure of how many had been killed or injured.

He said the authorities had viewed disobedience by the prisoners as rioting and so had responded with live ammunition.

Roads to the prison have been closed and telephone lines in the area cut.

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Comments on this story

07-05-08, 08:32 PM

Massive riot in Syrian jail

Love how a criminal will try justify a riot by saying they insulted the Koran? Just shows that crimnals are smart enough to try use anything to get their way.. just like Al Qaeda makes the same claims agains the west.. One day man will find that they insult God when they kill or disrespect his creation... Stop and look for a moment the beauty in just one rose or sunset... Rejoice that there is a Loving God that has great rewards for those that wish to seek them

07-06-08, 07:06 AM

How did the 'word' get out?

What a good inteligence system to get such detailed information!

Or was the riot planned and executed from the outside? Who would execute such a plan from the outside?

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