ON PAPER

Report: West Has Assad’s Torture Documents

International investigators assembling a war-crimes case against President Bashar al-Assad are reportedly working from a cache of smuggled documents that precisely catalog the regime's wrongdoing, including written orders from Assad to “systemically torture and murder tens of thousands of Syrians” during the country's five-year civil war. According to a report in The New Yorker, the more than 600,000 documents, which are being held in an undisclosed location by anonymous staffers in Western Europe, came from top-secret Assad facilities and are being assessed by the Commission for International Justice and Accountability, an independent investigative body. The documents are said to include the coordination of moves by security forces that amount to state-sponsored terrorism, along with routine feedback from regime operatives that cataloged their successes on a daily basis. Stephen Rapp, a top prosecutor in the Rwanda and Sierra Leone tribunals, said the documentation “is much richer than anything I’ve seen, and anything I’ve prosecuted in this area,” adding that if the case goes to court, “When the day of justice arrives, we’ll have much better evidence than we’ve had anywhere since Nuremberg.”