Amnesty International Unveils ‘Gross’ Syrian Human Rights Abuses

Amnesty International has released its 50 annual report into the state of the worlds Human rights, unsurprisingly the report that details the conditions in Syria are stomach churning.

Since the uprising and mass protests began in March 2011 there has been reportedly over 4.300 deaths during or in connection with the protests, including those gunned down while attending funerals of demonstrators, members of security forces that refused to fire on civilians and men women and children held in detention and tortured to death. The UN says this figure is more likely over 5,000.

The UN Human rights council set up an independent enquiry commission and in November 2011 the report expressed grave concerns that Syria’s Military and security forces had committed crimes against humanity, including “Killings, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence, imprisonment, or other forms of severe deprivation of liberty and enforced disappearances.”

The Syrian authorities refused the council and commission entry to the country as well as international media and independent aid organisations. At the UN Security Council, China and the Russian federation blocked the resolution condemning the crimes and other abuses in Syria.

Claire Mallinson director of Amnesty International Australia said, “There is a clear and compelling case for the situation in Syria to be referred to the international criminal court for investigation for crimes against humanity. The determination of some UN security members to shield Syria at any cost leaves accountability for these crimes elusive and is a betrayal of the Syrian people.”

The UN’s purpose is; to maintain international peace and security in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations. As long as China and Russia continue to defend and deny the long list of abuses in Syria they continue to betray and belittle the courage and fortitude of the Syrian men women and children who continue to lay down their lives in the name of freedom.

Men, women and children such as, Thamer Mohamed al-Shar’i a 15 year old boy who went missing on the 29 April, he was shot in the chest and bludgeoned to death, his body was returned to his family on 6 June.

Muhammad al-Mulaa ‘Esa, 14 was shot by a member of the security forces on 13 November when he refused an order that he and his class mates participate in a pro- government march.

Khaled al-Haamedth died after being shot in the back by security forces on 31 July whilst walking to a hospital, then an army tank ran over him.

Dr Sakher Hallak, who ran an eating disorders clinic, he was arrested on the 29 May and died two days later while held at the criminal security department in Aleppo. His body was returned with broken fingers, ribs, arms, his eyes had been gouged out and his genitals mutilated, before his arrest and horrific death he had signed a petition calling for Doctors to be able to treat all injured peoples including protesters and had visited the USA.

In the reported 200+ deaths of people held in detention through a connection to the protests, evidence available points to torture or other ill-treatment as the cause of death, many of these are children.

Syrians living abroad who demonstrate their solidarity with the protesters are monitored and harassed by Syrian embassy officials, their relatives in Syria are targeted as a punishment for speaking out, such as the US based Syrian pianist and composer Malek Jandali whose parents were beaten in their home and told,” this is what happens when your son mocks the government” he had united with anti-government protesters outside the Syrian embassy in the USA.

Thousands of people remain in makeshift detention centres at undisclosed locations such as sports grounds, in all these places torture and numerous other abuses are rife, those detained include, journalists, bloggers, imams, soldiers who refused to fire at activists and human rights activists, some of those arrested have been released and are understandably, reluctant to give their names in fear of reprisal to themselves and their families.

One thing we have to realise,the abuses being carried out in Syria in the past year are not a new turn of events for the Syrian people, the murder, torture and forced disappearances have been going on for some years, and it was because of these human rights violations that the people took to the streets in protest in March 2011, namely for the release of their children who were being held in detention.

In all probabilities the heads of the world’s nations must have had some idea as to what was happening and now thanks to the bravery, determination and courage of the many men, women and children of Syria who are asking for what most of us take for granted, the right to live peaceably and free, the rest of the worlds people now know and the facts can no longer be ignored.

Fiona Hammond
Fiona Hammond is a journalist who graduated from the John Morris journalism academy. Fiona lives on the south coast of NSW Australia and writes human interest stories and opinions, about gardening, sustainability, fishing, the environment and our planet.