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28 July 2011

Bashar Al Assad: Criminal Against Humanity

Publication of a Report on human rights violations committed in Syria from March to July 2011 “Bashar Al Assad: Criminal Against Humanity”

Bashar Al Assad: Criminal Against Humanity
In light of the persistent repression of the population by the Syrian authorities and of the increasing number of deaths, arbitrary detentions, and acts of torture in Syria, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), in cooperation with the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS) and a coalition of 7 other Syrian human rights organizations, urges the Syrian authorities to bring an end to the use of violence against the population and publishes its report on the perpetration of the human rights violations committed in Syria from March to July, 2011.

Since the beginning of the uprising in Syria in March 2011, the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS) received, on a quasi-daily basis, numerous reliable information on grave human rights violations committed against civilians in Syria. FIDH decided to support its member organisation in collecting this information and in preparing a report comprising evidence of the crimes and violations committed in Syria.

Rather than a comprehensive report examining all the reported human rights violations, the report examines the trends behind the major and most pervasive crimes and human rights violations reported in Syria between March 15 and July 15, 2011. These crimes include extra-judicial killings and the increasingly systematic use of violence by governmental forces; mass arrests, abductions, enforced disappearances and detention of civilians; acts of torture, degrading or inhumane treatments; repression of the freedom of peaceful assembly and violations of the freedom of information, notably targeting the media and human rights defenders; military operations and actions undertaken to besiege cities [1] , and the practices amounting to collective punishments and to the deprivation of food, water, and medical supplies, as well as the restriction and denial of access to hospitals. In the report, FIDH and DCHRS recall that 1665 people have died since the beginning of the unrest, and that the lives of thousands of others are endangered by the ongoing repression [2].

In view of the conclusions of its report, FIDH and DCHRS reiterate their call and formulate recommendations to the international community, the UN Security Council, the League of Arab States, and the European Union, to take immediate action to urge the Syrian authorities to put an end to the crimes committed against civilians, and to undertake all efforts to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these crimes.

In light of the abusive use of force and of the intensified crackdown by the Syrian authorities since March 15, FIDH and DCHRS consider that crimes against humanity are being perpetrated by the Syrian authorities [3], and recalls that these crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). FIDH and DCHRS once again strongly denounce and condemn the ungoing repression, the increasing level of violence reported on a national scale, the deterioration of the humanitarian crisis in some targeted areas, and the blackout on the human rights violations committed by the Syrian authorities, as the latter continue to refuse territorial access to independent human rights NGOs, foreign journalists, and UN bodies such as the Fact finding mission on the situation in Syria mandated by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.

For more information on the ongoing repression in Syria: [http://www.fidh.org/Repression-in-Syria]

Report in English :

 - FIDH - Worldwide Human Rights Movement


Last Update 9 August 2011

Footnotes

[1Some cities and villages, such as Jisr al-Shoghour, Marat al-Nooman, Der al-Zour, and Jabel al-zawiya in the Idleb governorate, are still besieged by the Syrian army. In some instances, the population has had no access to water, electricity, or medical supplies for more than 10 days. Demonstrators are subjected to constant acts of intimidation and threats, and wounded civilians are dissuaded from seeking medical care in hospitals.

[2As an illustration, on July 15, 2011, a 12 year old named Talha Dalal was killed during a protest in Damascus after receiving a gunshot bullet fired by a policeman. He was shot in the head. The Security Forces tried to force the father of the child to issue a statement explaining that “unidentified armed gangs” had fired on his son. The father refused as he witnessed the policeman shoot his son. On July 21, 2011, the Syrian army used live ammunitions against the population of Karam Al Zaytoun in Homs, leading to the deaths of 12 persons and dozens of wounded.

[3The grave human rights violations committed in Syria fall under the definition of crimes against humanity, pursuant to Article 7 of the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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