Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:August 18th, 2011 14:50 EST

Report Reveals Syrian Government's Crimes Against Humanity

By Donna Cavanagh

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has released a report which exposes the Syrian Government`s use of  "widespread and systematic" attacks against the civilian population. As many as 2,000 Syrians have been killed in the past five months since the onset the pro-democracy protests that started in Egypt and spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East.  The United Nations human rights office said that the attacks, which should require an investigation by the International Criminal Court or ICC, fall under the category of crimes against humanity.

The OHCHR found a pattern of human rights violations including the torturing and killing of children as well as adults by the Syrian government. The OHCHR has 180 eyewitness accounts mainly from former soldiers who had deserted the army. Ninety-eight accounts reveal acts of torture and human degradation.  Also in the OHCHR`s custody are 50 videos and a number of photographs documenting the human rights violations as well as information put together by non-governmental organizations, the media and public information sources.

The 13-member mission, headed by Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang, gathered corroborative eyewitness statements with respect to numerous executions of at least 353 named victims. The witness statements describe the Syrian military and security forces use of violence. The High Commissioner recommends that Syria immediately put an end to the gross human rights violations and allow immediate access for humanitarian workers to assist those in need and for OHCHR to conduct investigations into all abuses.