A look into Syria's culture of violence and abuse: U.N. report reveals government is responsible for more crimes against humanity than ISIS
Feb 08, 2016 10:23 PM EST
A United Nations probe is calling out the Syrian government for allegedly implementing a state policy of extermination against many detainees in jails and detention centers. The investigators revealed a culture of "massive and systematized violence" has proliferated in the Assad regime, as evidenced by multiple accounts of torture and executions
A U.N. commission of inquiry on Syria stated in its latest report that thousands of detainees have been killed after being caught up in the middle of Syria's conflict. The report also contains a cluster of evidence gathered by the commission and other investigators that details the violence and killings that are taking place in government-run jails and detention centers.
According to interviewed witnesses, while other victims were beaten to death, others perish because of "inhuman living conditions."
"The mass scale of deaths of detainees suggests that the government of Syria is responsible for acts that amount to extermination as a crime against humanity," commission head Paulo Pinheiro said.
The commission accused both the government and rebels of responsibility for the crimes. The pattern of arrests since March 2011indicate those who were thought to be loyal or sympathized with the opposition were apprehended. Even those who showed "insufficient loyalty" to the Assad regime were taken in to suffer torture and violence.
BBC News noted that senior government authorities were aware of the atrocities going on within the prisons and they reportedly gave their approval for such.
"Government officials intentionally maintained such poor conditions of detention for prisoners as to have been life-threatening, and were aware that mass deaths of detainees would result," Pinheiro stated in the U.N. report.
The data accumulated for the report was obtained from March 2011 to November 2015, and include accounts from 621 survivors and witnesses.
Moreover, the U.N. report suggests that the Assad regime is responsible for far more crimes against humanity compared the number committed by ISIS militants and other jihadist groups.
The alarming rate at which the violence in Syria is thriving has put pressure on the United Nations Security Council to impose "targeted sanctions against Syrian officials.
The Independent reported the commission of inquiry recommends for the U.N. Security Council call an end to the deaths and summon those responsible before the International Criminal Court.
"Accountability for these and other crimes must form part of any political solution," the commission said in its report.
The commission also asks the Syrian government, armed groups and the international community to take the necessary steps to prevent the occurrence of deaths and torture in the future.