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Syria’s Assad Brushes Off Amnesty Report on Prison Executions as ‘Fake News’

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Updated: | Originally published: ;

Syrian President Bashar Assad has dismissed allegations of extensive human rights violations at military prison outside of Damascus as “fake news.”

The Amnesty International report says that up to 13,000 prisoners were killed at the Saydnaya prison between 2011 and the end of 2015, Yahoo News reports.

“You can forge anything these days,” Assad responded when shown the report during an interview with Yahoo News in Damascus. “We are living in a fake news era.” He was also shown an FBI report concluding that photo of bodies at one of his prisons were genuine. Assad dismissed this as “propaganda”.

He added: “If the FBI says something, it’s not evidence for anyone.”

The Syrian President also said that life was returning to normal in parts of Syria, including Damascus, as the intensity of the 5-year civil war diminishes. Amnesty’s report said that between 20 – 50 people a week were executed in a “calculated campaign of extrajudicial execution.”

[Yahoo News]

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Write to Zamira Rahim at zamira.rahim@time.com