A report about credibility of torture and killing in Syria presented to UN

NEW YORK (CIHAN)- A report into the credibility of photographic evidence of large-scale torture and killing smuggled out of Syria was presented today by France at a press conference at the United Nations.

David Crane, one of the authors of the report told reporters that from September 2011 to August 2013, a Syrian sergeant, codenamed Caesar, “took duplicate photographs of all of the bodies, smuggling them out in a memory stick in his shoe.”

rane, who was the first Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, said that after two tears, “in almost a Hollywood-like scenario” Cesar, who he described as a spy, was exfiltrated out of Syria through Jordan.

The former Prosecutor said that the conclusion was reached that “the photographs and the witness himself are credible and sustainable in a court of law at international or domestic level” and are “direct, specific, provable evidence of widespread and industrialized killing.”

He highlighted that was “a rare thing in our business that we get this type of direct evidence.”

rane said “It’s time for justice. It may take a little more time but you know, Charles Taylor never thought as he is serving 50 years in Her Majesty’s maximum security prison in the northeast of England, Charles Taylor never thought he was going to go to jail either. You know, justice may be slow but maybe 10 years from now we maybe having this conversation talking about justice for Syria. So we have to continue to move forward in all of this, because mankind is far better than just sitting back and watching this happen.”

Meanwhile, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Monday condemned the rampant use of torture in detention facilities across Syria by Government forces and some armed opposition groups, as her office issued a paper containing detailed testimony from victims and witnesses.

The paper describes a broad pattern of torture and ill-treatment against individuals in Government facilities. It also documents reports of torture by some armed groups. The analysis is based on interviews by the United Nations Human Rights Office with individuals who have spent time in detention facilities in Syria during the conflict.

SHOTLIST:
14 APRIL 2014, NEW YORK CITY

Exterior United Nations headquarters
Dais
Reporters
Photographers
Reporters
End of press conference
Various shots, photographs of tortured and mutilated bodies

SOUNDBITE (English) David Crane, Co-author of Report on Torture in Syria:
“For two years, between August or September 2011 and August 2013, Caesar took duplicate photographs of all of the bodies, smuggling them out in a memory stick in his shoe. After two years as he reached out to his handler he said, I can’t take it any more, I am photographing incredible things. So, in almost a Hollywood-like scenario, exfiltrated Cesar out of Syria through Jordan and we met up with him in the Middle East.”

SOUNDBITE (English) David Crane, Co-author of Report on Torture in Syria:
“Our conclusion in the report was that the photographs and the witness himself are credible and sustainable in a court of law at international or domestic level, and that what he brought out in a period of two years, is direct, specific, provable evidence of widespread and industrialized killing not seen recently. And the reason I underscore this is – and I will highlight it again – it is a rare thing in our business that we get this type of direct evidence.”

SOUNDBITE (English) David Crane, Co-author of Report on Torture in Syria:
“It’s time for justice. It may take a little more time but you know, Charles Taylor never thought as he is serving 50 years in Her Majesty’s maximum security prison in the northeast of England, Charles Taylor never thought he was going to go to jail either. You know, justice may be slow but maybe 10 years from now we maybe having this conversation talking about justice for Syria. So we have to continue to move forward in all of this, because mankind is far better than just sitting back and watching this happen.”

DURATION: 02:17

SOURCE: CIHAN