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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/15/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

At least 31 methods of abuse being used on political detainees

Amnesty International claims that Syrians detained during a year-long uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule have been subjected to torture. The Bashar regime is blatantly guilty in its crimes against humanity, the human rights group says. The group says that those caught up in the government's massive wave of arrests had been "thrust into a nightmarish world of systemic torture."

At least 31 methods of torture or other ill-treatment by Syrian security forces and their 'shabiha' allies - pro-government armed groups.

At least 31 methods of torture or other ill-treatment by Syrian security forces and their "shabiha" allies - pro-government armed groups.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/15/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Syria, torture, detainees, Amnesty International, United Nations


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The testimony presented in this report, taken in the context of other human rights violations committed against civilians in Syria, is yet further evidence that torture and other ill-treatment in Syria form part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population, carried out in an organized manner and as part of state policy and therefore amount to crimes against humanity," Amnesty said in a statement.

Released on the eve of the anti-government revolt's first anniversary is comprised of interviews with Syrians who had fled to Jordan.

At least 31 methods of torture or other ill-treatment by Syrian security forces and their "shabiha" allies - pro-government armed groups.

Only the United Nations Security Council can refer to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court over the violence in Syria. The U.N. says more than 8,000 people have been killed in Syria since the violence began. This is not the first time Amnesty has added its voice to growing international concern over human rights abuses committed there.

The Syrian government has claimed all along that it is fighting foreign-backed "terrorists" it blames for killing hundreds of soldiers and police.

Former detainees said they had suffered, or witnessed methods of torture including beatings on all parts of the body, cigarettes stubbed out on the body, electric shocks or being forced to watch the rape of another detainee.

Other methods included forcing a detainee into a tire, which was then hoisted up and the person beaten; beating on the soles of the feet; and the so-called "flying carpet" where a victim is strapped face-up onto a foldable wooden board, the ends of which are moved towards each other, hurting the detainee's back at the same time as the victim is beaten.

One 18-year-old student reported that his interrogators used pincers to remove flesh from his legs when he was being held at an air force intelligence branch in Deraa in December 2011.

"In almost all cases the detainees are held in incommunicado detention, often for lengthy periods, with no access to visits from their families or lawyers in conditions which all too often amount to enforced disappearance," Amnesty said.

The torture appeared intended to punish, to intimidate, to coerce "confessions" and to "terrify its victims into silence," the report adds.

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