Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'I love the Socialists'

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' for east Ukraine

    Read more

  • Poland marks 75 years since German invasion of WWII

    Read more

  • Web doc on French self-immolation protests takes top prize

    Read more

Middle east

Rights group reports sharp rise in prison deaths

Video by Ben Barnier

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-08-31

Amnesty International reported Tuesday that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of deaths of jailed civilians in Syria, with 88 reported in the past five months. The rights group also reported significant evidence of torture.

AP - A human rights group said it believed that at least 88 people, ten of them children, have died in detention in Syria during five months of anti-government protests - a dramatic increase that coincides with the government’s bloody crackdown.

Some of the victims were as young as 13, Amnesty International said Tuesday. It said that in recent years the annual number of deaths behind Syrian bars has been about five.

“These deaths behind bars are reaching massive proportions, and appear to be an extension of the same brutal disdain for life that we are seeing daily on the streets of Syria,” said Neil Sammonds, Amnesty International’s researcher on Syria.

Sammonds also said the group had heard accounts of horrific torture. “We believe the Syrian government to be systematically persecuting its own people on a vast scale,” he said.

The victims, all men or boys, were arrested after mass protests began in March. All the victims are believed to have been detained because they were suspected of being involved in the protests, Amnesty said in a report.

In at least 52 of the cases there was evidence that torture or ill-treatment caused or contributed to the deaths, the report said.

The group said it had seen video clips relating to 45 of the cases, and had asked independent forensic pathologists to review a number of them. It said injuries on many of the bodies indicate the victims may have suffered beatings, burns, whippings, slashings and stabbings.

The report cited the case of Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, a 13-year-old who disappeared April 29 during protests against the siege of Dera’a, and was later found dead with apparent blunt force injuries and a severed penis. Most of the cases in the report occurred in the Homs and Dera’a governorates, which have seen major protests.

Deaths in detention have also been reported in five other governorates - Damascus and Rif Damashq, Idlib, Hama and Aleppo, Amnesty said.

It also cited the case of a doctor from Aleppo, whose body - discovered by the side of a road a few days after his arrest - had broken ribs, arms and fingers, as well as gouged eyes and mutilated genitals.

Amnesty International has called on the U.N. Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, to impose an arms embargo on Syria and to freeze the assets of President Bashar Assad and his senior officials.

“Taken in the context of the widespread and systematic violations taking place in Syria, we believe that these deaths in custody may include crimes against humanity,” Sammonds said.

Amnesty International says it has compiled the names of more than 1,800 people reported to have died since pro-reform protests began. Thousands of others have been arrested, with many held incommunicado at unknown locations, according to the group.

 

Date created : 2011-08-31

  • SYRIA

    Troops fire at protesters on start of Muslim holiday

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syrian army targets restive town after defections

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Arab League urges Syria to end bloodshed

    Read more

COMMENT(S)