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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid