Grim torture tales from Syria
Syrian protestors — children and adults alike — tortured by regime
Many reports of violence by pro-government forces in Syria have been at arms length, and rarely given in detail. That changed last week when Amnesty International released a disturbing new report detailing the almost invariable violence adult protesters — as well as some children below the age of 18 — have faced from the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The report's findings, the group concludes, are "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." It says that hundreds have died in custody.
Among the persistent methods of torture detailed in the report:
The report includes personal tales of horror from dozens of Syrians that Amnesty interviewed in Jordan. Their accounts are harrowing, and Amnesty cites them to call for an arms embargo and Assad's prosecution by the International Criminal Tribunal. But the accounts may also intensify calls from activists for the US to come to the defense of Syria's civilian population.
Reprinted by permission of The Center for Public Integrity.