|Crimes Against Humanity in Syria|
|Protesters Killed and Tortured; Civilians Denied Food, Water, Medicine|
| As the UN Security Council considers imposing sanctions on Syria, a new Human Rights Watch report concludes that the Syrian government’s systematic killing and torture of protesters could qualify as crimes against humanity. |
Some of the worst violence during the protests, which started in mid-March, was in and near Daraa, a city of about 80,000 near Jordan. Victims and witnesses gave consistent statements about the killings, beatings, torture using electroshock devices, and detention of people seeking medical care by security forces. Hundreds of people were detained, and all detainees interviewed said they had been tortured.
According to local activists, security forces killed 418 people in and around Daraa, and more than 887 across Syria.
In late April, security forces laid siege to Daraa, occupying every neighborhood in the city and cutting off electricity and communications. Daraa residents experienced acute shortages of food, water, and medicine.
For more than two months now, Syrian security forces have been killing and torturing their own people with complete impunity. They need to stop – and if they don't, it is the Security Council's responsibility to make sure that the people responsible face justice.
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