800 dead from hunger, illness inside besieged Aleppo prison

Dania Akkad reports: At least 800 prisoners, trapped in a Syrian jail for more than a year as army officers inside and surrounding rebels battle, have died as a result of starvation and illness, according to a former prisoner, a current prisoner and an organization documenting the prison’s conditions.

An estimated 2,400 prisoners – including women and children – remain in the Central Aleppo Prison in which guards intentionally withhold food and medicine, according to the prisoners and a spokesman for the Damascus-based Violations Documentation Center.

“Death surrounds us,” Mohammed, a current prisoner who says he bought a phone from a guard and asked only to be identified by his first name, told the MEE. “And fear, and hunger, and cold, and illness and darkness and our unknown fate.”

Though independently unverifiable, Mohammed’s claims are supported by a Violations Documentation Center report on the prison scheduled to be released this week and a UN official who asked to remain anonymous. [Continue reading…]

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