Washington warns Syrian authorities in regard to prisoners

The United States has warned the Syrian authorities of the risk of a corona epidemic in Syria "on a catastrophic scale" as many of the prisoners detained, including Americans, continue to be detained.

"In light of the COVID-19 threat, the United States renews its calls for the regime of (Syrian President, Bashar) Al Assad to take precise steps to protect the future of thousands of civilians," the State Department said in a statement issued Wednesday by the Department of the State's spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus. Among them are American citizens, who continue to be held without foundation in overcrowded prisons and inhumane conditions within regime prisons."

"Such conditions are an appropriate atmosphere for the rapid outbreat of the virus, which can have destructive consequences for the most vulnerable detainees, who are in poor health after months or even years of torture, starvation and denial of health care," Ortagus said.

"We call for the immediate release of all civilians detained without any basis, including women, children and the elderly. In addition, the regime must provide neutral and independent institutions, including health and medical organizations, with access to its detention facilities."

"The Assad regime, if it continues its current campaign against the Syrian people, risks escalating the spread of the COVID-19 virus on a catastrophic scale, putting the lives of Syrians throughout the country at risk," the State Department said in a statement.

"The regime must take urgent action to protect the Syrian people, as well as American citizens in Syria, from the devastating consequences of this pandemic," it said.

The Syrian government announced this evening that the number of cases of the COVID-19 had risen to five.





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