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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid