Assad regime pictures

The 30+ images published, at least, do show systematic abuse of captive men, including signs of torture, starvation, and sometimes execution.The primary media reports added little to no skepticism, and political leaders have of course added none of their own as they reflexively push their well-known anti-Assad agendas."Caesar's" story may be true, but for all we know, many of these bodies passing through this morgue could have different true stories.Over the first 29 months of the Syrian conflict, he says he collected copies of 55,000 digital images he says show about 11,000 dead victims, all of them executed prisoners of the Syrian government.The latter drafted a report - stamped "CONFIDENTIAL" but ultimately released on January 20th via Western Media in France, Turkey, the US, and UK.On January 21, 2014, the media grew abuzz with startling news - first broken the day before - of "industrial scale" torture, abuse, and murder of at least 11,000 Syrian prisoners by their government.It's only by trusting Caesar that one can be sure that's not even part of the picture.The claims were lodged originally by an alleged defector - code-named "Ceasar" - who says he was employed by the Syrian government as a morgue photographer.While we cannot know how representative the few publicized photos truly are, it seems criminal abuses are being carried out in Syria, a problem that merits alarm and attention."Caesar" has arguably been given more credibility than "Curveball" and "Nayirah" combined.All it really does is keep his identity secret from those he's appealing to, and suggests he may not be at all who he claims.Nonetheless, this project has proven less effective than some may have expected; throughout 2014 it continued with diminishing efforts to spur direct, perhaps military action against the Syrian government.It should be considered there are two parts to this evidence package; the actual photographs, and the alleged photographer's explanation of what they show.The reasons to question or even doubt the defector's word are many, starting with the baseless claim that any code-name would protect him or his family from the Syrian government, if his employment story is true.

The unusually strong claims and noted parallels with Nazi death camps made waves, among other places, at the Geneva 2 peace conference which began in Montreaux the following day.For example, some of them (like the apparent Christian man in image #25 - see list here) could be of civilians hostages taken by rebel forces, executed and then dumped, and simply being documented by the government.Sometime in August, 2013, "Caesar" says he stopped taking new pictures, faked his own death, and escaped with his trove, as he says, "in order to stop the systematic torture." With funding from the Qatari royal family, the defector's narrative was bolstered with the hire of British law firm and a team of three war crimes prosecutors.Such claims were nothing new, but this time they were supported by actual photographs and some kind of study by professional investigators of such crimes.But these reasons have been ignored in a push by the powerful to indict and harm the Syrian government again, this time over distressingly ambiguous morgue photos.

The first release on January 20, as mentioned, complicated the peace talks starting on the 22nd. It seemed possible he did so after the Ghouta chemical massacre on the night of August 20/21, anticipating trouble after that.