Alarming conditions in Syria jail: NGO

2013-06-20 19:24
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Beirut - The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Thursday denounced the "alarming" health conditions at a prison outside second city Aleppo where more than 100 detainees have died in the past two months.

The prison, one of the biggest in war-torn Syria, has been under siege since April, with regime troops repelling repeated attempts by opposition fighters to free the facility's 4 000 inmates.

"The health and humanitarian situation in Aleppo Central Prison has become alarming because of an acute shortage of medicine and food," said the Observatory.

At least three prisoners had died of tuberculosis this week because the medicine needed to treat them was unavailable.

"Numerous prisoners and guards now have scabies," said the Britain-based group which relies on a network of activists, lawyers and doctors on the ground.

More than 100 prisoners have died at the facility since April, according to the Observatory, with some killed in the fight for the prison, others dying of illness and several executed.

The prisoners include Islamists, common criminals, activists and minors, said the Observatory.

The group called on the International Committee of the Red Cross and international organisations to "intervene immediately to send food and medicine to the prison".

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