May 16, 2017
SYRIAN REGIME'S POTENTIAL USE OF CREMATORIA PART OF ONGOING CAMPAIGN OF ATROCITIES
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum welcomes the State Department’s release of previously classified imagery pointing to the suspected construction and use of a crematorium at one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s most notorious and deadly torture facilities, Sednaya prison.
The Administration’s release of this imagery adds to the extensive information about the nature of the crimes Assad’s security forces have been committing against regime opponents and civilians in these secret facilities since the start of the conflict in 2011. Some of the earliest evidence of the Assad regime’s crimes have been on display at the Museum since 2015, including photographs of torture and death in these facilities which were smuggled out of the country by a former regime photographer code-named Caesar. These photographs constitute the most comprehensive evidence of the regime’s widespread and systematic targeting of Syrian civilians.
For six years the Assad regime has been committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Syrian people through tactics that include torture and murder, aerial bombardment, the use of chemical weapons, and the besieging of whole communities.
The State Department’s revelation that the regime is now taking extraordinary efforts to cover up its crimes, through the suspected use of crematoria, demonstrates why it is all the more important to redouble efforts to bring the conflict to an end and investigate, document, and hold accountable those who direct and carry out these widespread atrocities.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hate, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information visit, ushmm.org.
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