The Syrian regime has been holding 110 Palestinian women in secret detention throughout its vast prison network, with a large number of them tortured to death, a human rights organisation has found.
The London-based organisation Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) revealed that in addition to at least 486 Palestinian women who have been pronounced dead since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, 110 others have been secretly detained by the regime of Bashar Al-Assad and at least 34 have been tortured to death within its prisons.
The group has stated that it believes the number of Palestinian women who have been killed overall throughout the war are much higher than is officially acknowledged, as the regime has reportedly kept their names secret and left their cases undocumented, as well as the fact that many families of the victims refuse to reveal their relatives’ names out of fear of retaliation by the regime.
The organisation cited the accounts of former Palestinian female detainees of the regime who said that they were regularly subjected to intense psychological and physical torture during their detention, including heavy beatings with irons sticks, electric shocks and rampant sexual abuse.
Tactics used by the Assad regime and its security forces to crush descent have long been known, and the horrors of its prison system have been documented by many organisations and recounted by former detainees, but the plight of women from the Palestinian population within Syria is not as well known.
Nine years into the conflict and up to January this year, AGPS has reported that 4,013 Palestinians in Syria have been killed so far.