Syria: Massive Human Rights Violations, Torture of Children

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva – A UN Committee voiced “deep concern about massive human rights violations in Syria, including the reported torture of children, as the government’s violent crackdown against protesters continues.”

Syrian women protesting | Credit: UN

The UN Committee against Torture, during its 47th session in Geneva, has reviewed “numerous, consistent and substantiated” reports and information about widespread rights violations in the country, it stated in a news release on Nov. 25.

The violations include cases of torture and ill-treatment of detainees; rife or systematic attacks against civilian population, including the killing of peaceful demonstrators and the use of excessive of force against them; and the persecutions of human rights defenders and activists.”

Of particular concern are reports referring to children who have suffered torture and mutilation while detained, as well as cases of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, arbitrary detention by police forces and the military, and enforced and involuntary disappearances,” stressed Claudio Grossman, who currently heads the 10-member expert panel. 

More than 3,500 people have died in Syria since an uprising, similar to the protests demanding reforms in other countries across North Africa and the Middle East, began early this year, UN reports.

Absolute Impunity

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and other top UN officials have repeatedly called for “an end to the killings in Syria, accountability for the crimes committed and the protection of human rights.”

The UN Committee said it is alarmed by the fact that the reports of massive human rights violations are occurring amid “total and absolute impunity,” as prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations have not been undertaken in such cases.

These generalised abuses are allegedly conducted under direct orders from public authorities, at their instigation or with their consent or acquiescence,” Grossman said.

The Committee is tasked with monitoring the implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which has been ratified by 149 States, including Syria.


Also read:

Syria: Death, Shortage of Food, Water and Medical Services

Syria: Bullets, Fists and Electric Cables against Protestors

Syria: No Light at the End of the Tunnel… So Far

Now That Syria Has A Transitional Council—What Will NATO Do?

2011 Human Wrongs Watch

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