A visitor looks at photographs of victims of Assad regime prisons, at an exhibition in UN headquarters in New York (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
The Biden Administration has sanctioned Syria’s Assad regime officials over their involvement in mass executions, torture, and deaths from poor conditions in prisons.
The US Treasury said the sanctions cover eight prisons run by the regime’s state security and intelligence services.
The killings of thousands of detainees were exposed in 2014 by the defecting military photographer “Caesar”. His documentation led to the imposition of sanctions in 2019 under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act.
Thursday’s sanctions designated five officials who directed the prisons.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement:
Many of the prisons designated today were highlighted in the pictures provided by Caesar, a Syrian regime defector who worked as an official photographer for the Syrian military and exposed the regime’s ruthless and cruel treatment of detainees.
Today’s action…seeks to promote accountability for the Assad regime’s abuses.
The Treasury Department also sanctioned two anti-Assad factions, including the leaders of Ahrar al-Sharqiya, over human rights violations including unlawful killings, “abductions, torture, and seizures of private property”.