SYRIA: UN rights panel voices alarm at reported torture of children

Summary: More than 3,500 people have died in Syria, including almost 200 children.

[25 November 2011] - A United Nations panel today voiced deep concern about massive human rights violations in Syria, including the reported torture of children, as the Government’s violent crackdown against protesters continues.

The UN Committee against Torture, which is concluding its 47th session in Geneva, has reviewed “numerous, consistent and substantiated” reports and information about widespread rights violations in the country, it stated in a news release.

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,” stressed Claudio Grossman, who currently heads the 10-member expert panel.

More than 3,500 people have died in Syria since an uprising, similar to the protests demanding reforms in other countries across North Africa and the Middle East, began 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 prompt, 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,” Mr. 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 Government to provide it with a special report by 9 March 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. 


Further Information:


Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.