21 Jan 2014

Evidence of torture in Syria

3:25 pm on 21 January 2014

Former war crimes prosecutors say they have uncovered evidence of systematic torture by the Syrian government.

The prosecutors' report includes thousands of images of corpses that investigators say were detainees held and killed by the military police in Syria.

"The killings were systematic, ordered, and directed from above," the report said.

The gruesome images include signs of emaciation, strangulation and beatings inflicted on the victims, the ABC reports.

The three prosecutors based their report on thousands of photographs taken by a Syrian man codenamed "Caesar", who helped collect some 55,000 images of about 11,000 bodies.

Caesar was a former member of the Syrian military police, whose job was to photograph bodies before he fled the country.

The inquiry was headed by three former war crimes prosecutors, including Sir Desmond de Silva, the former chief prosecutor of the Special Court of Sierra Leone, which delivered the arrest and sentence of Liberia's former president Charles Taylor.