Syrian president: Report accusing regime of torture is 'fake news'

Syrian President Bashar Assad blasted an Amnesty International report alleging rampant human rights violations in one of his country’s military prisons, calling the findings “fake news” and suggesting that the human rights group simply made up evidence.

“That report, like many other reports published by Amnesty International, put into question the credibility of Amnesty International, and we never look at it as unbiased,” he told Yahoo News’s Michael Isikoff in an interview released Friday.

“It’s always biased and politicized,” he added. “And it’s a shame for such an organization to publish a report without a shred of evidence.”


The report in question states that as many as 13,000 inmates at a Syrian military prison were killed between 2011 and the end of 2015. The report relied on interviews with former prisoners, guards and judges, among other officials.

Assad rejected the report’s findings outright, contending that the interviews meant nothing, because “you can forge anything these days.”

“[Amnesty International has not] been to Syria,” he said. “They only base their reports on allegations. They can bring anyone; doesn’t matter what’s his title. You can forge anything these days.”

“We’re living in a fake news era, as you know,” he continued. “Everybody knows this. So we don’t have to depend on this.”

The embattled Syrian president also took aim at the United States when confronted with the allegations in the Amnesty International report. The U.S., he said, had no business talking about human rights, because of its own blemished record.

Assad has been accused of mass human rights abuses, including using chemical weapons on his own people during Syria’s civil war.