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New Amnesty report on torture in Syria

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 02:53

Mar. 14 - A new Amnesty International report released on the one year anniversary of the Syrian uprising shows the scale of torture in the country. Sophia Soo reports.

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THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENT OF AMATEUR VIDEO OBTAINED FROM SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITES Amnesty International released a new report on Syria on the first anniversary of their uprising. Entitled "I wanted to die", the report documents 31 methods of torture or other ill-treatment by security forces, army and pro-government gangs. The lead author of the report said the disturbing trend is being directed from the very top. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEIL SAMMONDS, LEAD REPORT AUTHOR ON SYRIAN TORTURE REPORT, SAYING: "The fact that it happened across the country and across the security agencies and the armed forces leads one to the assumption that the regime is directing and knows what's going on and is encouraging its guards and security officers to do this." In the last 12 months there have been more than 270 cases of detainees dying while in custody. Researchers interviewed victims who fled Syria to Jordan. One of them is Thamer Ebrahim, a lawyer who was detained in Deraa at the start of the upring last March. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LAWYER THAMER EBRAHIM SAYING: "During the interrogation, if you did not answer their questions, you would be beaten and insulted. The first time I was arrested and detained for four days. I was beaten by punches and sticks and with the butt of guns. There was also the psychological torture and insults." Another victim of Syrian violence, who has been dubbed "The Living Martyr", escaped to Jordan, where he now lives illegally. He does not want to be identified and is not featured in the Amnesty report, but described to Reuters how he was shot repeatedly by government forces for taking part in a demonstration in April last year. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ACTIVIST SHOT IN DERAA, WHO CALLS HIMSELF "THE LIVING MARTYR" SAYING: "They shoot randomly at people. They saw me and my friend and started shooting. I was hit by 16 bullets and the man with me was hit by 7 bullets. When they saw the light coming from my mobile and they suspected I was alive, they shot at me three more times. For what? Because I phoned for medical help." In the latest video obtained by Reuters, more images of injury and destruction in a town 10 kilometres north of Idlib. Men are seen rushing injured people off the streets to the sound of gunfire. Reuters cannot independently verify the content of the videos. The United Nations has said more than 8,000 people have died in the uprising and its refugee agency said that some 230,000 Syrians had fled their homes Sophia Soo, Reuters.

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New Amnesty report on torture in Syria

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 02:53

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