During a Congressional hearing on Syria Wednesday (June 8), the Syrian man known simply as the “gravedigger” surprised US senators when he confirmed that mass graves are still being dug and are being filled with victims that the Assad regime continues to send on an ongoing basis.
The “gravedigger,” who remains hooded and masked as he testifies in order to conceal his identity, spoke about the atrocities he witnessed while working as one of the civilian workers in a mass grave in Syria from 2011 to 2018.
He said that while he left Syria in 2018, he has spoken with others who fled Syria more recently and they told him that mass graves are still being dug and continue to be filled with new victims.
…three trailer trucks would arrive loaded with between 300 and 600 bodies of victims of torture, shelling and slaughter, as well as three to four pickup trucks carrying between 30 to 40 bodies of civilians who had been executed in Sednaya prison, in order to dispose of them in a most brutal way.The Gravedigger
Before 2011, the “Gravedigger” was working as an administrative employee in the Damascus municipality but after the revolution began regime intelligence officials visited him in his office and ordered him to work for them.
He indicated that approximately twice a week, three trailer trucks would arrive loaded with between 300 and 600 bodies of victims of torture, shelling and slaughter, as well as three to four pickup trucks carrying between 30 to 40 bodies of civilians who had been executed in Sednaya prison, in order to dispose of them in a most brutal way.
The “Gravedigger” added, “In some cases, I know exactly the place where the victims are being amassed in gravesites that are still being expanded today. I know this because others who worked with me in the mass graves have recently escaped and confirmed what we are hearing.”
The “Gravedigger” recounted the atrocities he experienced while working at the mass grave sites. In one case, a man thrown from a truck with other bodies made a movement, indicating that he was still alive.
“One of the civilian workers saw him and started crying saying that we had to do something. The intelligence officer who was supervising us then ordered the bulldozer driver to run over him, which the driver did without hesitation otherwise he would have been next. As for the young man in our workshop who had dared to shed tears for the victim of the Assad regime, we never saw him again.”
The “Gravedigger” called on US senators to “take action,” and said: “Although hundreds of thousands have already been killed and disappeared and millions displaced, the worst is yet to come; it can be prevented. I ask you not to wait a single second, and I beg you to take action.”
Joel Rayburn, former US Special Envoy for Syria, said on his Twitter account on Thursday, “Yesterday’s Senate hearing on Syria was an important bipartisan clarification that the U.S. still rejects Assad & intends to pressure, not normalize him. Toughest anti-Assad session I’ve seen in years,” adding that “Syrians and others worried for 18 months US policy is drifting toward normalizing Assad, but yesterday showed Congress will not allow that, and new State Dept. leadership vowed to renew international pressure policy on Assad. Yesterday’s session should put a lot of nonsense to rest.”