Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Online movement demands peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple aims to satisfy China's hunger for smartphones

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin? (part two)

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

  • Netherlands to honour MH17 victims in national day of mourning

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • Israel hits Gaza targets despite diplomatic push for ceasefire

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

Middle east

Death toll from Syrian protests hits 2,900

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-06

The Syrian death toll since the anti-government protests in March has risen to over 2,900, the UN Human Rights Council said Thursday. The UN body is set to perform a routine review of Syria's human rights record Friday.

AP  - The death toll in Syria has risen to more than 2,900 since pro-democracy protests began in March, the United Nations human rights office said on Thursday as activists warned that the country could descend into armed conflict.

“Based on our detailed list of individual names that we have been keeping, the total number of people killed in Syria since protests began now stands at more than 2,900,” Rupert Colville, spokesman for U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, told Reuters.

The United Nations’ previous death toll was 2,700 from the bloody crackdown by the government of President Bashar al-Assad, which generally denies reports of human rights abuses and says it has no choice but to restore law and order.

Colville noted that the latest figure did not include those who have disappeared and whose fate is unknown.

On Friday, the U.N. Human Rights Council is to review Syria’s record, part of its regular examination of all U.N. member states. The United States and other Western countries are expected to denounce what they say are atrocities by Syria.

The Geneva forum last month launched an international commission of inquiry into alleged crimes against humanity which a preliminary U.N. investigation said were being perpetrated by Syrian security forces.

Sergio Pinheiro, a Brazilian heading the new three-member investigation, was to meet a high-level Syrian delegation in Geneva this week to seek permission to enter the country. The team, which plans to gather testimony in the region, is due to issue a report by the end of November.

“Detention centres a nightmare”

Radwan Ziadeh, an exiled Syrian activist, said on Thursday that more than 30,000 Syrians had been imprisoned since protests began, many in schools or soccer fields converted into detention centres.

“Mass killings continue,” he told a discussion on torture in Syria. “Detention centres are a nightmare for Syrians now.”

His businessman brother Yassin and four other members of his family are among those being detained, Ziadeh said.

His Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies had documented the deaths of 183 children at the hands of Syrian forces, many under torture, as well as 18 cases of rape in Homs, he said.

“Child of Syria”, a film produced by the center and shown for the first time in Geneva, told the tale of Thamer al Sharei, a 15-year-old boy from the southern city of Deraa who disappeared during demonstrations on April 29.

His parents, interviewed after fleeing to Jordan, said they retrieved his battered body from a morgue, riddled with 11 bullet holes and a drill hole in his cheek, two months later.

“If it were not for the childhood scar on his forehead, I never would have recognised him,” his father Mohammed says in the film. “They have taken torture to a new level”.

“If they are doing this to children, what are they doing to grown-ups?,” he asks.

Ibrahim al-Jahaman, identified as a former detainee at Bab Touma prison near Damascus at the time, says in the film: “I think he was in a semi-conscious state, I’m not sure he felt the blows he was getting.”

Ziadeh said Syrian forces felt immune from any accountability. He voiced dismay at the U.N. Security Council’s failure to condemn Syria, after China and Russia vetoed a European-drafted resolution on Tuesday.

It was important for the Security Council to ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate crimes by Syrian forces, he said.

“Unfortunately this will encourage more people to radicalise as they see no hope of action by the international community,” Ziadeh said.

Jeremie D. Smith, of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, also warned of the situation deteriorating further in Syria if world powers failed to act.

“Syria is bound to become more destabilised, more radicalised, if there isn’t any form of hope for these people.” 

Date created : 2011-10-06

  • DIPLOMACY

    West condemns double veto of UN resolution on Syria

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Dissidents face persecution beyond Syrian borders

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    EU and US push for Syria resolution

    Read more

COMMENT(S)