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GENEVA (AA) – The UN on Monday accused the Syrian regime of killing thousands of detainees as an “extermination” policy which amount to crimes against humanity.
Speaking in a press conference in Geneva about a report on deaths in detention in Syria, Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, called for a referral of these cases against the suspected war criminals to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“The massive and systematized violence in Syria including the killing of thousands of detainees in official and makeshift detention centres, has taken place out of sight, far from the battlefield,” the UN report said on Monday.
A new report from the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, “Out of sight, out of mind: Deaths in detention in the Syrian Arab Republic”, is based on 621 interviews and “examines the killing of detainees occurring between 10 March 2011 and 30 November 2015 in Syria”.
“Detainees held by the Government were beaten to death, or died as a result of injuries sustained due to torture. Others perished as a consequence of inhuman living conditions,” the report said.
“The Government has committed the crimes against humanity of extermination, murder, rape or other forms of sexual violence, torture, imprisonment, enforced disappearance and other inhuman acts. Based on the same conduct, war crimes have also been committed,” the report indicated.
“Both the terrorist group Jabhat Al-Nusra and some anti-Government armed groups have committed the war crimes of murder, cruel treatment, and torture,” the report said.
The terrorist group Daesh “subjected detainees to serious abuses, including torture and summary executions. Detainees were frequently executed after unauthorized courts issued a death sentence. ISIS has committed the crimes against humanity of murder and torture, and war crimes,” the report also noted.
The commission recommended that the UN Security Council ensure the enforcement of accountability by referring the situation to the International Criminal Court or other judicial mechanisms.
According to the UN, over 250,000 people died in Syria since 2011 when the civil war began.
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