"Shocking" Video Shows Armed Group Carrying Out Summary Killings of Men in Syria’s Idlib Province, Says Amnesty International

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 212-633-4150, @strimel

(New York) – New video evidence emerged on Thursday that appears to show an armed group in Syria’s Idlib province carrying out a mass summary killing of men in their custody, Amnesty International said today.

The footage, which is reported to be from a checkpoint near Saraqeb in Idlib province, shows at least 10 men, who some believe are captured members of the security forces, being beaten and kicked before members of the armed group open fire on them. It is unknown how many were killed in the incident, but media outlets and a Syrian NGO have suggested that at least 28 died.

Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s deputy Middle East and North Africa program director said: “This shocking footage depicts a potential war crime in progress, and demonstrates an utter disregard for international humanitarian law by the armed group in question.

"Amnesty International has so far been unable to confirm the identity of the armed group that carried out these summary killings, and no group has yet claimed responsibility. But we will continue to investigate the incident and once again urge all sides to respect the laws of war and to refrain from torturing, ill-treating or killing their prisoners."

A recent Amnesty International report noted a sharp rise in Syrian government forces’ use of extrajudicial and summary executions against civilians as well as members of armed groups including the Free Syria Army. The report cited a number of occasions where hand-bound bodies were discovered near the Air Force Intelligence headquarters in Aleppo.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.