Amnesty accuses Syria of crimes against humanity
DAMASCUS – Amnesty International yesterday accused Syria of committing crimes against humanity to punish communities supporting rebels, as monitors reported a spate of car bombs and clashes which killed dozens more people.
The London-based rights group called for an international response after claiming it had fresh evidence that victims, including children, had been dragged from their homes and shot dead by soldiers, who in some cases then set the remains on fire.
“This disturbing new evidence of an organised pattern of grave abuses highlights the pressing need for decisive international action,” said Amnesty’s Donatella Rovera on the release of the 70-page report entitled Deadly Reprisals.
The advocacy group interviewed people in 23 towns and villages across Syria and concluded that government forces and militias were guilty of “grave human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law amounting to crimes against humanity and war crimes.”
The allegations came as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that more than 14 400 people have been killed in Syria in the 15-month revolt against President Bashar Assad’s regime, including 2,302 in the past month alone.
“There have been 14 476 people killed since March 2011, among them 10 117 civilians, 3 552 soldiers and 807 army defectors,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Observatory, told AFP.