Thursday, June 14, 2012

Amnesty: fresh evidence of revenge killings by Syrian regime against communities supporting opposition

Amnesty International issued a new report on Syria:
The 70-page report Deadly Reprisals, provides fresh evidence of widespread as well as systematic violations, including crimes against humanity and war crimes, being perpetrated as part of state policy to exact revenge against communities suspected of supporting the opposition and to intimidate people into submission. (...)
Amnesty International visited 23 towns and villages in the Aleppo and Idlib governorates, including areas where Syrian government forces launched large scale attacks including during negotiations over the implementation of the UN-Arab League-sponsored six-point ceasefire agreement in March/April.
In every town and village visited grieving families described to Amnesty International how their relatives – young and old and including children - were dragged away and shot dead by soldiers - who in some cases then set the victims’ bodies on fire.
Open graves in Damascus after 4 have been killed in a raid.

Soldiers and shabiha militias burned down homes and properties and fired indiscriminately into residential areas, killing and injuring civilian bystanders.  Those who were arrested, including the sick and elderly, were routinely tortured, sometimes to death.  Many have been subjected to enforced disappearance; their fate remains unknown. (...)

The government crackdown has been targeting towns and villages seen as opposition strongholds, whether the site of clashes with Free Syria Army (FSA) forces or where the opposition remains peaceful. 
In Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, on several occasions in the last week of May, Amnesty International watched uniformed security forces and plain clothes shabiha militia members firing live rounds against peaceful demonstrators, killing and injuring protesters and passers-by, including children. 

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