Syria has become ‘torture chamber,’ says U.N. rights chief

NTD Staff
By NTD Staff
March 14, 2017World News

The top U.N. human rights official called on Tuesday (March 14) for the release of tens of thousands of detainees held in Syria’s prisons and said that bringing perpetrators of crimes including torture to court was vital for reaching a lasting peace.

“Today in a sense the entire country has become a torture chamber, a place of savage horror and absolute injustice,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein told the U.N. Human Rights Council.

“Ensuring accountability, establishing the truth and providing reparations must happen if the Syrian people are ever to find reconciliation and peace. This cannot be negotiable.

“Detention remains a central issue for many in Syria, one which may determine the fate of any political agreement, and we have a responsibility to support the struggle of Syrian families to know the truth.

“It’s only when the past has begun to heal that the country will be able to envision a solid future,” he told the Geneva forum at the start of a session on Syria.

He appealed to the warring sides to halt torture and executions and to free detainees, or at least provide basic information.

He lamented the fact that efforts to end “this senseless carnage” had been repeatedly vetoed, an apparent reference to Russia and China’s decisions to veto U.N. Security Council resolutions on several occasions since the war began.

Zeid noted that the conflict, which will begin its seventh year on March 15. It began when security officials detained and tortured a group of children who had daubed anti-government graffiti on a school wall in Deraa.



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