UN experts report violations since Syria truce

Team reports abuses by both sides since ceasefire took hold; shelling and arrests by Syrian forces; executions by rebels

April 16, 2012 18:34
1 minute read.
Syrians demonstrate near Homs [file]

Syrians demonstrate near Homs 370 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Shaam News Network)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


GENEVA - UN human rights investigators said on Monday they had received reports of shelling and arrests by Syrian forces since the ceasefire, as well as executions of some soldiers captured by rebels, although the level of violence generally was lower.

The team led by Brazilian expert Paulo Pinheiro said it hoped the truce brokered by international mediator Kofi Annan last week would hold and help put an end to gross human rights violations that it has documented over the past six months.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

In a statement, it also voiced concern at what it called the "deteriorating humanitarian situation" in Syria where tens of thousands of civilians fled escalating fighting in the run-up to the fragile ceasefire that took effect last week.

It acknowledged generally lower levels of violence in some areas, but was seriously concerned over accounts of a number of incidents since the truce.

These included "the shelling of the Khaldieh neighborhood and other districts in Homs by government forces and the use of heavy weaponry, such as machineguns in other areas, including Idlib and some suburbs of Damascus.

"The commission is also concerned by reports of new arrests, especially in Hama and Aleppo," it said.

Click for full JPost coverage

The team, which reports to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, has not been allowed into Syria, but has interviewed refugees and gathered testimony in neighboring countries.

"The Commission also continued to receive reports of human rights abuses committed by anti-government armed groups engaged in fighting against the Syrian army during and after the ceasefire, including extra-judicial killings of soldiers captured during armed confrontations," it said.

A handful of soldiers in blue caps put a tentative United Nations presence at the heart of the Syrian crisis on Monday, predicting success for their mission to stabilize a shaky four-day-old ceasefire even as shells continued to fall.

In their last report issued on February 23, the UN investigators said that they had evidence that Syrian forces had committed crimes against humanity including murder, abductions and torture under orders from the "highest level" of army and government officials.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Anti-government protesters demonstrate on a street in central Ankara
June 16, 2013
Thousands take to streets of Istanbul, defy Erdogan