Syria’s Surge of Deaths in Detention Revealed
30 August 2011
Amnesty International released a report, entitled, “Deadly detention: Deaths in custody amid popular protest in Syria” on 31 August 2011. The following is an abstract of the report.
At least 88 people are believed to have died in detention in Syria during five months of bloody repression of pro-reform protests, a new Amnesty International report reveals today.
Deadly detention: Deaths in custody amid popular protest in Syria documents reported deaths in custody between April and mid-August in the wake of sweeping arrests.
The 88 deaths represented a significant escalation in the number of deaths following arrest in Syria. In recent years Amnesty International has typically recorded around five deaths in custody per year in Syria. (…)
“The accounts of torture we have received are horrific. We believe the Syrian government to be systematically persecuting its own people on a vast scale.”
The victims recorded in the report were all swept up in arrests after Syrians took to the streets en masse from March this year. All male, the victims include 10 children, some as young as 13.
All the victims are believed to have been detained because they were involved, or suspected of being involved, in the pro-reform protests. (…)
Amnesty International has called on the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, to impose an arms embargo on Syria and to implement an asset freeze against President Bashar al-Assad and his senior associates.
“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,” said Neil Sammonds.
“The response from the Security Council has been utterly inadequate so far, but it is not too late for them to take firm and legally binding action.” (…)