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Report: Torture evidence found in Syrian prisons

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May 17, 2013 02:47 AM EST | AP

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BEIRUT — A human rights group says it has found documents and physical evidence indicating Syrians were arbitrarily detained and tortured in government prisons in the eastern city of Raqqa.

Rebels overran the city in February and facilitated access to Human Rights Watch.

The group says its researchers visited Raqqa in late April and inspected security facilities that belonged to the government and military intelligence.

HRW found documents, prison cells, interrogation rooms and torture devices in the detentions centers. The evidence appears "consistent with the torture former detainees have described," the New York-based group said in a report released Friday.

Raqqa is the first Syrian city under full opposition control.

HRW has been documenting abuses on both sides of Syria's civil war since the beginning of the conflict in March 2011.