Human Rights Watch has accused Syria of systematically torturing detainees
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the Syrian regime of running 27 torture centers across the country in an effort to crush the 16-month pro-democracy uprising.
In a report released today, the New York based watchdog said detainees were systematically being beaten with batons and cables, burned with acid, sexually assaulted, and had their fingernails torn out, Reuters reported.
More than 20 torture methods were documented, from the testimonies of more than 200 former prisoners and security force members who defected. The report includes maps detailing the locations of the torture facilities, video interviews and sketches of torture techniques, The Guardian reported.
HRW found that tens of thousands of people had been detained by the Department of Military Intelligence, the Political Security Directorate, the General Intelligence Directorate, and the Air Force Intelligence Directorate.
It said its report offered clear evidence of a state policy of torture and ill-treatment in Syria, which constitute crimes against humanity, Reuters reported, and called on the UN Security Council to refer the issue to the International Criminal Court.
HRW emergencies researcher Ole Solvang, said: “By publishing their locations, describing the torture methods, and identifying those in charge we are putting those responsible on notice that they will have to answer for these horrific crimes.”
Tariq, an opposition activist from Latakia who spent 40 days in solitary confinement, told CNN he was subjected to the “dulab,” in which his legs and head were pushed through a car tire before he was beaten. He was also tied to a board and beaten in another technique known as the “basat al reeh.”
“They threw cold water on our naked bodies and they also urinated on us … they are really good at what they do.”
Another man, 31, who was interviewed by HRW, said he was detained in the Idlib area last month in June and told to remove his clothing. His fingers were squeezed with pliers, and staples were put through his fingers, chest and ears.
“They used two wires hooked up to a car battery to give me electric shocks. They used electric stun-guns on my genitals twice. I thought I would never see my family again. They tortured me like this three times over three days,” he said.
The United Nations estimates that more than 10,000 people have been killed during the Syrian conflict.
More Related Stories
- There's no substitute for government disaster relief
- Holder signed off on search warrant for reporter
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Mike Judge: "Bowling for Columbine" made me pro-gun
- Closing Gitmo is not enough
- Murkowski: Palin too disengaged to run for Senate
- In IRS scandal, new GOP tactic is ignorance
- Code Pink activist berates Obama at national security speech
- Cuomo: "Shame on us" if New York City elects Weiner
- Coburn calls questions about tornado aid "typical Washington B.S."
- Conspiracy theorists clash over London attack
- Voting is not a right
- Destroying the planet for record profits
- Ahead of Obama's speech, U.S. acknowledges four American drone killings
- Pic of the day: Barack Obama at prom
- Anti-Islam backlash in London after machete attack
- Must-see morning clip: Bill O'Reilly visits "The Daily Show"
- Obama’s drone speech will probably be maddening
- Boehner: "Inconceivable" Obama didn't know about IRS targeting
- Obama to announce new effort to close Guantanamo Bay
- House supporters of KXL received $56m from fossil fuel industry
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11
Salon is proud to feature content from GlobalPost, an awarding-winning international news site that focuses on original reporting from journalists stationed around the world. GlobalPost combines traditional journalistic values with the power of new media to offer a fresh perspective on global developments.