Syria says 24 people had wildfires in their homes, hanged themselves

ALEPPO, Syria — Syria’s government has executed 24 people for lighting wildfires in the country, activists say. The government media arm, the General Directorate of Press and Publications, claims the blaze, which killed nine,…

Syria says 24 people had wildfires in their homes, hanged themselves

ALEPPO, Syria — Syria’s government has executed 24 people for lighting wildfires in the country, activists say.

The government media arm, the General Directorate of Press and Publications, claims the blaze, which killed nine, was set by “terrorists” or anti-government groups.

The people arrested and convicted are not included in any official release. However, Amnesty International and other rights groups have said the dead include 16 civilians and eight Syrian security agents.

Amnesty called for an end to the execution, noting Syria’s “deteriorating human rights situation.” It also called for a “swift and independent probe” into the incident.

The human rights group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, says “Death to arsonists” on Facebook.

Human Rights Watch also pointed out that the Syrian government rarely releases detainees during arrests and that prosecutors typically charge people with “alleged terrorism activities” before holding them for months.

Syria has been embroiled in civil war since 2011.

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