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Friday, July 15, 2011

Amnesty calls for investigation into the violence in Syria.

Amnesty international has accused Syria of crimes against humanity and calls for UN- backed investigation into violence in Syria.

The group has documented several cases of torture, deaths in custody and arbitrary detention in a new report. “The regime's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters may constitute crimes against humanity” says the group. they also called on the UN security council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the hague.

The deputy director of Amnesty Iternational’s middle east and North Afriica, Mr.Philip Luthur said the account they have heard from witnesses to events in Tell Kalakh paint a deeply disturbing picture of targeted abuses. Witnesses say at least nine people from Tell Kalakh died while in custody. Their bodies showed signs of torture, including cuts to the chest, slashes on the thighs and apparent gunshot wounds on the legs, Amnesty was told.

Since mid-March this year, President Bashar al-Assad has been fighting off serious challenge to his family’s four decades of rule. Syrian human rights groups have said that more than 1,350 civilians and 350 security personnel have been killed across the country since protests began in mid-March

mean while the Syrian government has not responded to the report, but it claims that many of those who have died were the victims not of the army, but of armed criminal gangs. Syrian state media has also reported on what it said was a large pro-government demonstration in Tell Kalakh late last month.

The Syrian authorities - who blame "armed gangs" and "terrorists" for the unrest - are pushing for a national dialogue next week. But the opposition has refused to participate while the violence continues.

Violence broke in Syria when Tunisia and Egypt revolution took place ,inspired by the revolution, the Syrian began protest in March with rallies calling for freedom in the southern border town of Deraa. But several people were killed when security forces opened fire on unarmed crowds. The unrest in Deraa quickly spread out of control, and then spread to other towns and cities. President Bashar al-Assad sent in tanks and troops to restore order, blaming "armed gangs and terrorists" for the unrest. Towns like Deraa, Homs and Douma were besieged for days. Hundreds were killed when snipers and tanks fired on unarmed protesters. Men were rounded up in night-time raids and electricity and communication lines were cut.

However, the protests have not yet taken hold in the capital Damascus or the second largest city Aleppo, which are under heavy security guard.

credit- bbc

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