Syria torture report images `extremely disturbing`: US

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 07:36

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Damascus: A day before the marathon peace conference aimed at resolving Syrian crisis is scheduled to take place in Geneva, a report emerged blaming the Syrian regime for systematically torturing and killing about 11,000 prison inmates.

The report may have a serious impact on the talks sheduled today in the Swiss city of Montreux with the US calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad`s ouster in wake of the latest report illustrating Syrian regime`s atrocity.

The report authored by three ex-war crime p[rosecutors and commissioned by Qatar, is based upon over 55, 000 `disturbing` images of the executed detainees of Syrian government prison.

The images are said to have been provided by a defcted Syrian military photographer, known as Caeser, reported a leading international news channel.

Appalled by the report, the US, UK and the United Nations have expressed shock and horror.

Emphasising on the need of a transitional government in Syria at the earliest, US Sate Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf said that the ground reality in Syria was horrifying and “we need to get the Assad regime out of power."

Speaking about the grisly images, she said they were horrible to look at and disturbing and those behind it must be held accountable.

"These most recent images are extremely disturbing; they illustrate apparent actions that would be serious international crimes, and we have long said that those responsible for these kinds of serious violations in Syria must be held to account."

Echoing similar remarks, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said, "I`ve seen a lot of this evidence, it is compelling and horrific.”

Calling the report extremely alarming, the UN said that investigation into the report was a must.

"Allegations this serious cannot be ignored and further investigation is clearly necessary," Rupert Colville, spokesman for UN human rights chief Navi Pillay, told a news agency.
The report has been denied by Syria with an official raising questions on its credibility on the basis that it was commisioned by Qatar, which backs the opposition.

The report comes on the eve of the crucial Geneva II talks, which will open in the Swiss city of Montreux, where the international delegates from over 40 countries have arrived.

Iran will not be participating in the peace talks after the UN withdrew an invitation to the Islamic nation over its refusal of Geneva Communique.

First Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 06:05

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