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Syria: Scenes of burning detainees’ corpses

Syria: Scenes of burning detainees’ corpses point up ugliness of impunity

Geneva – A local Syrian newspaper published disturbing images today of Syrian government soldiers setting on fire dozens of corpses belonging to citizens who had been detained in the Daraa governorate, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said today in statement. These atrocities would not have occurred if the Syrian regime did not enjoy such a perfect record of impunity.

Yesterday, Syrian newspaper, Zaman al-Wasl, published a video it said was taken in a semi-desert area in the northern countryside of Daraa between 2011 and 2013.

The video shows dozens of detainees’ dead bodies piled in an open-back truck, surrounded by a large group of soldiers. The corpses were emptied into a small pit, gasoline was poured on them, and they were set on fire in a festive atmosphere.

The brutal crime does not appear, from the video, as an improvised incident, rather an actual representation of the regime’s policy of extermination and abuse against detainees since the outbreak of popular protests in March 2011.

By June 14,338 Syrians were killed under torture in regime prisons, according to the data of the Syrian Network for Human Rights.

In February 2015, Euro-Med Monitor, in cooperation with the Syrian Network, issued a report saying that the Syrian regime had burned 82 people, including women and children. The report also said that 773 other bodies were burned from 2011 to 2015.

These violations should make it crystal-clear to the international community that there are those who burn Syrians, dead or alive, without anyone condemning their barbaric acts or putting an end to them.

Euro-Med Monitor’s Chief Operations Officer, Anas Aljerjawi, said: “The brutality of the Syrian regime has reached unprecedented levels due to the international community's ignoring to activate accountability mechanisms, and insistence on recognizing the regime and its legitimacy despite all its atrocities.”

Euro-Med Monitor reiterates that the Syrian regime's practices against detainees and civilians are “crimes against humanity” under the Rome Charter, as they are inhumane acts that are “intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body,” and “war crimes” under the provisions of Article 8 (2) (c) of the Charter.

This should prompt the international system and the Security Council to carry out their role in protecting civilians in Syria and put an end to the impunity enjoyed by the Syrian regime.

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