Syria 'using militias for mass killings'

2013-03-11 15:03
Syrians standing next to dead bodies that have been pulled from the river near Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood, Syria. (Aleppo Media Center AMC/ AP)

Syrians standing next to dead bodies that have been pulled from the river near Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood, Syria. (Aleppo Media Center AMC/ AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - The Syrian government is reportedly using local militias known as Popular Committees to commit mass killings which are at times sectarian in nature, UN human rights investigators said on Monday.

The uprising in Syria erupted two years ago with largely peaceful protests but escalated into a civil war pitting mainly Sunni Muslim rebels against President Bashar Assad, whose Alawite faith is an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.

"In a disturbing and dangerous trend, mass killings allegedly perpetrated by Popular Committees have at times taken on sectarian overtones," the UN commission of inquiry on Syria, led by Brazilian Paulo Pinheiro, said in its latest report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The investigators, who cited accounts from witnesses and victims, also said people were being harassed or arrested by the committees because they came from regions perceived as being supportive of the uprising.

Both sides in the conflict, which is mired in a "destructive stalemate", have committed violations against civilians, the investigators said. The bodies of those killed in massacres have been burned or dumped in rivers, they said.

Rebel forces regularly execute captured Syrian soldiers and militiamen, and have established detention centres in Homs and Aleppo, the report said.

Syria's ambassador Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui took the floor at the Council to dismiss the report as based on "partial information from untrustworthy sources", and he accused Qatar and Turkey of "supporting terrorism" in his country.

Read more on:    bashar assad  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.