‘Gross’ Human Rights Violations Continue Unabated in Syria

Despite an earlier agreement by parties to the conflict to halt hostilities, gross human rights violations continue unabated in Syria.

Reports say most of the serious violations were committed by the Syrian army and security services as part of military or search operations in locations thought to host defectors or armed people amid increasing militarization of the strife there.

According to the United Nations independent panel probing abuses in the country, those seen as supporters of anti-government armed groups, the army employed the wide range of military means, including heavy shelling of civilian areas.

UnderSecretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Herve Ladsous (right), is interviewed by Ari Gaitanis of the UN News and Media Division on his recent trip to Syria and next week’s International Day of UN Peacekeepers. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The panel’s report focuses on incidents that occurred since March, and is based on 214 interviews conducted during two investigative missions in March and April, as well as other recent interviews conducted recently in Geneva.

The Commission said it had also received several reports stating that anti-government armed groups were committing human rights abuses.

The Commision cited that the Syrian Government has so far not provided access for the Commission to carry out its investigations inside the Middle Eastern country.

The Commission reported series of explosions have taken a heavy toll on human life in the capital in Damascus, and the cities of Idlib and Aleppo.

The Commission also condemns the indiscriminate nature of the attacks.

In addition, the Commission also voiced grave concern over the displacement of civilians, both within Syria and across borders, as well as widespread pillaging and burning of homes.

From its 214 interviews, the Commission said it was able to confirm 207 deaths resulting from the violence since March, adding that it had also received from the Government lists of victims from the ranks of police, military and security forces.

The lists disclosed that 478 police officers and 2,091 individuals from the military and security forces were killed between 29 March 2011 and 20 March 2012.

The Commission also noted that children were frequently among those killed and injured during attacks on protests and the bombardment of towns and villages by Government forces.

The Commission also reported that it had recorded an incident in which several people were allegedly executed in Taftanaz in April when the village was raided by Government forces.

The Security Council has authorized the establishment of a United Nations observer mission to Syria, for an initial period 90 days.

In a unanimous decision, Council members passed a resolution calling for the formation of the “United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), comprising an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers as well as an appropriate civilian component.”

The UNSMIS is tasked with monitoring the cessation of violence in Syria and supporting the full implementation of a six-point plan put forward by Mr. Kofi Annan.

On 27th of March 27, Mr. Annan reported that the Syrian government had accepted the six point-plan and pledged to implement it.

According to report, below is the the six-point plan which asks the Syrian authorities to:

(1) commit to work with the Envoy in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people

(2) commit to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians

(3) ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and to this end, as immediate steps, to accept and implement a daily two hour humanitarian pause

(4) intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities, provide without delay through appropriate channels a list of all places in which such persons are being detained

(5) ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a non-discriminatory visa policy for them;

(6) respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.

The adoption of resolution 2042 in which the Council unanimously has called on the Syrian government to honor all its obligations, including a sustained cessation of violence.

However, the regime has unleashed yet another wave of horrific violence against its own people resulting in the deaths of scores of Syrians daily.

The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 9,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.