Report accuses Assad regime of mass killings in Syria

London, Jan 21: A report authored by a group of London-based lawyers has accused the Bashar al-Assad regime of “systemic killing” of about 11,000 Syrians, a leading British daily reported Tuesday.

The 31-page report, released Monday to coincide with the Geneva II peace talks, was smuggled out of Syria and could see Syrian officials charged with war crimes, The Independent reported.

The daily claimed the evidence came from a military policeman known only as “Caesar” who worked secretly with a Syrian opposition group and later defected and fled the country.

The photographs in the report show victims, many of whom appear emaciated, blood-stained and subjected to torture.

While the UN has documented abuses by both Assad’s forces and the rebels, the new evidence is thought to be more detailed than anything yet to emerge from the 34-month crisis, the daily said.

It is being made available to the UN, governments and human rights groups, it added.

The report’s authors include London-based lawyers Sir Desmond de Silva, Sir Geoffrey Nice and David Crane. The trio, whose work was commissioned by a London legal firm acting for Qatar, interviewed Caesar in three sessions over three days and found his account “most compelling”.

The defector told investigators his job was “taking pictures of killed detainees” but did not claim to have witnessed executions or torture.