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Operation Caesar : At the Heart of the Syrian Death Machine - Garance Le Caisne

Operation Caesar

At the Heart of the Syrian Death Machine

Paperback Published: 23rd March 2018
ISBN: 9781509528158
Number Of Pages: 192

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Never before has such damning evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity been revealed in the midst of a conflict. As civil war raged in Syria, we owe the disclosure of this evidence to one man. He goes under the codename of Caesar.

This military police photographer was required to document the murder and torture of thousands of Syrian civilians in the custody of the Assad regime. Over the course of two years he used a police computer to copy the photos, and in 2013 he risked his life to smuggle out 53,000 photos and documents that show prisoners tortured, starved and burned to death.

In January 2015, in the American magazine Foreign Affairs, President Bashar al-Assad claimed that this military photographer didn’t exist. “Who took the pictures? Who is he? Nobody knows. There is no verification of any of this evidence, so it’s all allegations without evidence.”

Caesar exists. The author of this book has spent dozens of hours with him. His testimony is extraordinary, his photos shocking. The uncovering of the workings of the Syrian death machine that underpins his account is a descent into the unspeakable.

In 2014 Caesar testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and his testimony provided crucial evidence for a bipartisan bill, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, that was presented to Congress in 2016. Caesar’s photos have also been shown in the United Nations Headquarters in New York and at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.

For the first time, this book tells Caesar’s story.

Industry Reviews

The winner of the Geschwister Scholl Prize

"The images conjure memories of some of history's worst atrocities."
The New York Times

"The Syrian defector known as 'Caesar'… helped expose some of the worst war crimes of our generation."
The Washington Post

Shocking evidence of torture out of Assad's dungeons" 
The Guardian

"Caesar has offered us a glimpse of another Holocaust, occurring today, right under our noses, and we looked away."
The Times 

  • Prologue
  • Locations where the witnesses of this book were detained
  • List of Syrians who bear witness in this book
  • Foreword – Steven Heydeman
  • Preface
  • 1. Revelation. Testimony. Accusation
  • 2. Profession Corpse Photographer
  • 3. The Routine Turns to Horror
  • 4. The Archives of Death
  • 5. Communities and Religions
  • 6. Caught in the Crossfire
  • 7. With the Families of the Disappeared
  • 8. A Duty to Get Out Alive
  • 9. The Failure of Gradual Diplomacy
  • 10. Testimony in Washington
  • Appendices
  • Acknowledgements
  • Select Bibliography

ISBN: 9781509528158
ISBN-10: 1509528156
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 23rd March 2018
Publisher: Polity Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.8  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.28

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