United Nations investigators say thousands of detainees have died in Syrian prisons over the past four and a half years as part of a state policy of "extermination," which constitutes a crime against humanity.
In its report released on February 8, the UN Commission of Inquiry called on the Security Council to impose "targeted sanctions" on Syrian officials responsible for or complicit in deaths, torture, and disappearances in custody, and to launch proceedings at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
However, it did not cite any name.
Tens of thousands of people are being held by the government at any given time, said the panel of independent experts.
They said they also documented mass executions and the torture of prisoners by the Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State (IS) militant groups, constituting war crimes.
Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa