New York: A UN panel on Friday voiced deep
concern about human rights violations in Syria, including the
reported torture of children, as President Bashar Al Assad's
government continues its crackdown against protesters.
The UN Committee against Torture has reviewed "numerous,
consistent and substantiated" reports and information about
widespread rights violations in the country, a UN statement
The violations include cases of torture and ill-treatment
of detainees; rife or systematic attacks against civilian
population, including the killing of peaceful demonstrators
and the use of excessive of force against them; and the
persecutions of human rights defenders and activists.
"Of particular concern are reports referring to children
who have suffered torture and mutilation while detained, as
well as cases of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary
executions, arbitrary detention by police forces and the
military, and enforced and involuntary disappearances," said
Claudio Grossman, who heads the 10-member expert panel.
Over 3,500 people have died in Syria since protests began
in the country against Assad's rule early this year.
The Committee said it is alarmed by the fact that these
reports of massive human rights violations are occurring amid
"total and absolute impunity," as thorough and impartial
investigations have not been undertaken in such cases.
"These generalised abuses are allegedly conducted under
direct orders from public authorities, at their instigation or
with their consent or acquiescence," Grossman said.
The Committee is tasked with monitoring the
implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which has
been ratified by 149 States, including Syria.
It requested the Syrian government to provide it with a
special report by March 9, 2012 that indicates the measures it
is taking to ensure effective implementation of the
Convention, as well as information on the events occurring in
the country the Committee has referred to.
The expert panel will review the special report during
its next session in May 2012.
First Published: Friday, November 25, 2011, 23:55