Amnesty warns on Syria executions

2012-07-25 20:18

Beirut - Amnesty International warned on Wednesday about disturbing reports of "summary executions" by Syrian troops and rebels, calling them "serious violations of international law".

In a statement, the rights watchdog cited reports from media and local activists on instances in which both Syrian government troops and rebel forces have carried out summary killings.

"Amnesty International has been documenting unlawful killings carried out by state forces and government militias in Syria for months," said Ann Harrison, Amnesty's deputy Middle East and North Africa programme director.

She said field research conducted by the organisation in northern Syria found evidence that "scores of men and boys" were "being summarily killed by government forces and shabiha [pro-regime] militia members".

"We have also been investigating reports that members of armed opposition groups have been responsible for the killings of captured members of the security forces and other unlawful killings," she said.

Leadership duty

"The leadership of all sides must make it clear that they will not tolerate such abuses by anyone under their command."

The statement pointed to reports that at least 19 unarmed men and one child were found killed in the Mazzeh neighbourhood of Damascus, apparently after being executed.

And it cited statements by Iraq's deputy interior minister to AFP, in which he said Iraqi troops had seen Syrian rebels execute Syrian troops after taking control of a border post between the two countries.

"If confirmed, these killings would constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law and war crimes," Amnesty said.

Syria's uprising, which began 16 months ago, has become increasingly violent as the regime seeks to put down rebels who have taken up arms in a bid to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, over 19 000 people have been killed since the uprising began.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-25 20:44

    This madness will ONLY stop, with this assad being removed, and than like in Tunesia, Egypt and Libya, the killings will stop. Without the vetos of Russia and China, this tyrant would long been gone, and thousands of Syrian lives, mainly unarmed civilians, would have been saved!!!

      YDoll - 2012-08-02 01:47

      Most of the executions in Aleppo, are the work of the FSA, the car bombings, the FSA in alliance with al-Qaeda, Syria has all the ingredients of the Iraqi civil war.

  • ghengis.khan.585 - 2012-07-25 21:35

    As usual Anthony fails to see the crimes of the rebels. They are executing Assad supporters in cold blood. There is video footage of this, so who is the criminal? Yes Assad must leave and he will, but not to a bunch of murderous thugs who dont even want to try dialogue.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-25 22:14

      They are doing this now, after having demonstrated peacefully for close on eleven months, during which Assad killed thousands of them with sniper-fire, detained, tortured and raped tens of thousands more. This is what happens when an unelected leader chooses violence again, and again and again. Those being violated choose revenge. Neither of course is acceptable. But the cause must not be smushed together with the response.

      ghengis.khan.585 - 2012-07-26 08:45

      Assad raped tens of thousands? Must be a busy guy, I wonder where he finds time to run his country.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-26 18:17

      You're misreading what I wrote, like you're misreading what is really happening in Syria. Wake up!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-26 20:23

      Syria is not "Assad's country". Thjat's precisely the problem. Clearly you believe in old-style brutal unelected dictatorships, not freedom of expression, human rights and the right of the individual.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-25 21:46

    Both sides are implicated in the killing of civilians yet the mainstream media has created a narrative in which virtually all the killing is the work of the Syrian army.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-25 22:15

      Virtually all the killing IS the work of Assad and his military generals.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-26 04:00

      Fidel, Another one of your silly comments, which are only meant to support this assad terrorist. Yes, the opposition is also committing atrocities, and that should be totally condemned. But to deny that by far most of the killing is done by the Syrian army, is plain absurd. The opposition , including the FSA, DON'T have TANKS, which can fire rockets into residential buildings They DON'T have an air force, that can bomb civilian targerts. They DON'T have helicopters from where thugs can shoot on unarmed cicilians. Your ONLY aim , on this site is to support a DICTATOR/TYRANT/MASS MURDERER !!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-26 08:03

      "Another one of your silly comments, which are only meant to support this assad terrorist." Another false binary! "Yes, the opposition is also committing atrocities, and that should be totally condemned. But to deny that by far most of the killing is done by the Syrian army, is plain absurd." Where is this DENIAL in my post? Debate what I write and not what you want to refute. Perhaps you should have another cup of coffee, as your fingers aren't able to match your brain.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-26 18:20

      The "false binary" is Fidel's highly immature core-belief that the West is evil. Labeling an entire hemisphere evil is about as "binary" as one can get. It is like George Bush's "you're either with us or against us" belief. It leads Fidel to see the real world as fake, and unwittingly support the killing, detaining, torturing and rape of tens of thousands of Syrians by an unelected dictator, aided and abetted by the neo-Communist Russian and Chinese regimes. The uprising of Syrians who want to vote for their leaders, which was peaceful for eleven months, was fake. It did not happen in Fidel's world.

  • YDoll - 2012-08-02 01:45

    Is this the first Amnesty press release on FSA extra-judicial executions? If so, it has strangely taken them a very long time indeed.

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