News / Middle East

UN: Human Rights Violators Acting with Impunity in Syria

People walk on rubble of buildings damaged by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr district, Sept. 9, 2013.
People walk on rubble of buildings damaged by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr district, Sept. 9, 2013.
VOA News
United Nations investigators say human rights violations are continuing in Syria, with massacres being carried out by government and opposition fighters who do not fear accountability.

A new report released Wednesday by the U.N. commission of inquiry on Syria describes "relentless shelling and sieges," widespread torture, executions and rape.

It says indiscriminate or disproportionate shelling are responsible for most civilian deaths, and are the primary reason people flee their homes for other areas in Syria or neighboring countries.

The U.N. refugee agency reported last week that more than 2 million people have left Syria since the conflict began in 2011, while another 4.25 million are displaced within the country.

The commission says torture remains widespread among fighters on both sides.

The report mentions pro-Syrian forces use torture to interrogate, intimidate and punish their opponents, while there are "strong indications" that opposition groups are increasingly torturing and mistreating people they hold in custody.

The latest report covers incidents from May through July. The commission recalled its earlier reports detailing similar abuses, saying "the perpetrators are not deterred and do not fear future accountability."

The report describes the conflict as deadlocked, but says government fighters gained momentum in recent months as they took back some areas from opposition fighters. Syrian forces control major cities while rebels hold large parts of northern and eastern Syria.

The commission says government fighters are relying on "heavy and often indiscriminate firepower" to fight for areas they have been unable to capture with ground forces.

It reiterates earlier calls on all fighters to halt indiscriminate shelling in civilian areas, stop torture and the use of child soldiers, and to take steps to hold violators responsible for their rights violations.

The commission also repeats its position that there is no military solution to the conflict that has left more than 100,000 people dead. It urges the international community to support a political process, which it calls "the only path to peace."

Loading...

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid