Syria's Assad Targets Children for Detention and Torture

Syrian refugee children fleeing the violence in their country gather at a partially set up camp near Jordan's northern border. © KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images

It’s almost unbelievable, a government targeting children in an attempt to repress popular uprisings.

The latest reports from the BBC that Syrian children are being targeted for detention and torture are shocking but coincide with evidence Amnesty researchers uncovered in a recent mission to the region.

According to UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay, these actions against children seem “systematic and targeted” and are being carried out by Assad’s security forces:

“They’ve gone for the children, for whatever purpose, in large numbers – hundreds detained and tortured.

I’ve seen some of the evidence…It’s just horrendous: children shot in the knees, held together with adults in really inhumane conditions – denied medical treatment for their injuries, either held as hostages or held as sources of information – or just the sheer brutality of this whole clampdown.”

Amnesty researchers documented torture of children in Syria in “‘I wanted to die’: Syria’s torture survivors speak out,” published earlier this month, and “Deadly Detention,” an August 2011 report that documented 10 victims under the age of 18 who had died in custody in Syria (out of 88 total cases).

To reveal the full extent of human rights violations in Syria, human rights monitors must be permitted inside the country to report on the abuses. In response to the recent acceptance of a UN peace plan by predident Bashar al-Assad, we are calling on the Arab League to ensure that any UN mission depoloyed to Syria includes human rights monitors.

We also continue to call upon Russia, one of Syria’s fiercest allies, to stop selling weapons to Syria in the face of flagrant human rights abuses. Join the hundreds of thousands of Amnesty supporters who have spoken out against human rights abuses in Syria – tell Russia to stop providing military support to Syria immediately.

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24 thoughts on “Syria's Assad Targets Children for Detention and Torture

  1. Good day Kind Sirs:
    Take the children,wrap them in swaddling clothes and send them down the Jorden river to Etheopia. not unlike Harrette Tubmans under ground railroad,the under ground railroad, Harrete took them at night, there ancestors will be there to quide and speak to them for god is good and the river is deep and wide Alluia! Micheal will row the boat a shore.

    Then take a bucket of water and throw it on Russia.
    The Children are are future they are all we can leave behind in this troubled world. The Wicked Witch of the West was killed by Dorthy throwing water on her,then Dorthy woke up and was home in Kanas home of President Barack Obama Mother.

    They can stop me from posting Pete Seegar songs on Face book, they can twist my words if I type to fast – yet they can not stop me from dreaming a dream or thinking a thought, and I have a hammer , I have a bell and I have a hope. sorry I liked you song so much dear heart Linda Louise kokes Mary Katherine Elizabeth Galey Eckhoff

  2. The torture and imprisonment of innocent children is the most wicked tactic imaginable. Someday Assad will be squashed like the nasty bug he is.

  3. Good day Kind Sirs:
    Take the children,wrap them in swaddling clothes and send them down the Jorden river to Etheopia. not unlike Harrette Tubmans under ground railroad,the under ground railroad, Harrete took them at night, there ancestors will be there to quide and speak to them for god is good and the river is deep and wide Alluia! Micheal will row the boat a shore.

    Then take a bucket of water and throw it on Russia.
    The Children are are future they are all we can leave behind in this troubled world. The Wicked Witch of the West was killed by Dorthy throwing water on her,then Dorthy woke up and was home in Kanas home of President Barack Obama Mother.

    They can stop me from posting Pete Seegar songs on Face book, they can twist my words if I type to fast – yet they can not stop me from dreaming a dream or thinking a thought, and I have a hammer , I have a bell and I have a hope. sorry I liked you song so much dear heart Linda Louise kokes Mary Katherine Elizabeth Galey Eckhoff

  4. The torture and imprisonment of innocent children is the most wicked tactic imaginable. Someday Assad will be squashed like the nasty bug he is.

  5. May Jesús have mercy on them because God gave him the power to come & judge all of us.*) Peace please let the children come to me Jesús said

  6. May Jesús have mercy on them because God gave him the power to come & judge all of us.*) Peace please let the children come to me Jesús said

  7. War-propaganda is a crime.

    Amnesty has shamefully taken a partisan and biased position about Syria – as they did about Libya, where over 60,000 are dead and 1 million refugees fled. Amnesty is as responsible for this as the NATO aircrews and the NTC-mercenaries, who are still torturing and killing, as we speak :(
    Libya was a peaceful, wealthy Independent state with the highest standard of living in Africa – now it is hell on Earth, except for the Oil-companies.

    The Syrian people voted for the reform process under Assad; multiparty elections are due in May; there have been massive pro-Assad anti-NATO rallies throughout Syria.

    Why does Amnesty ignore the voice of the Syrian people ?
    Why do you ignore the killing and torturing being carried out by FSA and othther extremeists and mercenaries ?

    Shame on you – and I hope one day to see the managers of your organisation charged at the ICC. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3

  8. War-propaganda is a crime.

    Amnesty has shamefully taken a partisan and biased position about Syria – as they did about Libya, where over 60,000 are dead and 1 million refugees fled. Amnesty is as responsible for this as the NATO aircrews and the NTC-mercenaries, who are still torturing and killing, as we speak :(
    Libya was a peaceful, wealthy Independent state with the highest standard of living in Africa – now it is hell on Earth, except for the Oil-companies.

    The Syrian people voted for the reform process under Assad; multiparty elections are due in May; there have been massive pro-Assad anti-NATO rallies throughout Syria.

    Why does Amnesty ignore the voice of the Syrian people ?
    Why do you ignore the killing and torturing being carried out by FSA and othther extremeists and mercenaries ?

    Shame on you – and I hope one day to see the managers of your organisation charged at the ICC. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3

  9. War-propaganda is a crime.

    Amnesty has shamefully taken a partisan and biased position about Syria – as they did about Libya, where over 60,000 are dead and 1 million refugees fled. Amnesty is as responsible for this as the NATO aircrews and the NTC-mercenaries, who are still torturing and killing, as we speak :(
    Libya was a peaceful, wealthy Independent state with the highest standard of living in Africa – now it is hell on Earth, except for the Oil-companies.

    The Syrian people voted for the reform process under Assad; multiparty elections are due in May; there have been massive pro-Assad anti-NATO rallies throughout Syria.

    Why does Amnesty ignore the voice of the Syrian people ?
    Why do you ignore the killing and torturing being carried out by FSA and othther extremeists and mercenaries ?

    Shame on you – and I hope one day to see the managers of your organisation charged at the ICC.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30875.htm

  10. I have seen so much dishonest, lying propaganda about Iraq and Libya (and other wars before them) that i am sceptical about some of these stories of atrocities coming out of Syria. I have read the report of the Arab League commission sent into Syria (which has been suppressed in the Western media), and they state that the situation there is quite different than reported in the Western media. I have also read accounts by foreign correspondents who were allowed into Syria, and which contradict much of the anti-Syrian accounts.
    I have no doubt that there are violence and atrocities going on in Syria, but i am sceptical about who is doing what. I have no doubt that the United States and other Western countries are trying to overthrow the Syrian regime; they have openly stated that is their goal. So there is a strong motive to lie and make up stories, which they have done repeatedly in the past. The reason for the violence in Syria is to overthrow the government. Do you really believe intervention will bring about freedom and human rights? How well did it work in Libya and Iraq and Afghanistan? Calling for Russia to cut off all military aid to Assad only encourages civil war, and shows your political bias.
    Unfortunately, in a highly divided country like Syria, as in Iraq and Libya before it, a strong, even autocratic, government is necessary to avoid internal violence until they can grow into a modern democracy. I am not a pacifist, but in cases like this, I think patience and honest negotiations (if there is such a thing) are necessary, and might work better than threats and acts of violence.. If Assad is overthrown, there will be civil war, followed by Western intervention, then war with Iran, and possibly a much bigger war. Assad is the lesser evil; the cure would be worse than the disease,and I think his days are numbered. After Iraq and Libya, I am appalled that so many liberals and liberal organizations are supporting U.S. imperialist goals and joining in this race toward a possible World War 3.

  11. I have seen so much dishonest, lying propaganda about Iraq and Libya (and other wars before them) that i am sceptical about some of these stories of atrocities coming out of Syria. I have read the report of the Arab League commission sent into Syria (which has been suppressed in the Western media), and they state that the situation there is quite different than reported in the Western media. I have also read accounts by foreign correspondents who were allowed into Syria, and which contradict much of the anti-Syrian accounts.
    I have no doubt that there are violence and atrocities going on in Syria, but i am sceptical about who is doing what. I have no doubt that the United States and other Western countries are trying to overthrow the Syrian regime; they have openly stated that is their goal. So there is a strong motive to lie and make up stories, which they have done repeatedly in the past. The reason for the violence in Syria is to overthrow the government. Do you really believe intervention will bring about freedom and human rights? How well did it work in Libya and Iraq and Afghanistan? Calling for Russia to cut off all military aid to Assad only encourages civil war, and shows your political bias.
    Unfortunately, in a highly divided country like Syria, as in Iraq and Libya before it, a strong, even autocratic, government is necessary to avoid internal violence until they can grow into a modern democracy. I am not a pacifist, but in cases like this, I think patience and honest negotiations (if there is such a thing) are necessary, and might work better than threats and acts of violence.. If Assad is overthrown, there will be civil war, followed by Western intervention, then war with Iran, and possibly a much bigger war. Assad is the lesser evil; the cure would be worse than the disease,and I think his days are numbered. After Iraq and Libya, I am appalled that so many liberals and liberal organizations are supporting U.S. imperialist goals and joining in this race toward a possible World War 3.

  12. May God have mercy! A shame for the whole world! Where are leaders? Why do ONU, UNICEF look aside? What about Nobel Prize winners? Religious leaders, what keeps them so busy they do not react? Politics, Interests do no count if children are arrested and tortured. No need to refer to HELL after death. It is here, now. What kind of civilization is ours?

  13. May God have mercy! A shame for the whole world! Where are leaders? Why do ONU, UNICEF look aside? What about Nobel Prize winners? Religious leaders, what keeps them so busy they do not react? Politics, Interests do no count if children are arrested and tortured. No need to refer to HELL after death. It is here, now. What kind of civilization is ours?

  14. Assad's a blatant murderer and the world just sits back and watches. Are the UN afraid of the russians or is it that there is no oil there?

  15. Assad’s a blatant murderer and the world just sits back and watches. Are the UN afraid of the russians or is it that there is no oil there?

  16. The reality of NATO intervention – men women and children blown away, maimed and terrorised.
    There is no Peace via NATO wars: it is all death and destruction, for resources and power.

    Say NO to war – which is always hardest on civilians – women and children in Developing countries, dying at the word of rich, greedy psychopaths in Washington, London, Riyadh, Doha, Tel Aviv and Paris..wake up and smell the Evil Empire. http://www.sott.net/articles/show/243827-In-Case-

  17. The reality of NATO intervention – men women and children blown away, maimed and terrorised.
    There is no Peace via NATO wars: it is all death and destruction, for resources and power.

    Say NO to war – which is always hardest on civilians – women and children in Developing countries, dying at the word of rich, greedy psychopaths in Washington, London, Riyadh, Doha, Tel Aviv and Paris..wake up and smell the Evil Empire.
    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/243827-In-Case-You-Missed-It-NATO-Atrocities-In-Libya-Mass-Murder-of-the-Innocent

  18. Shame on Amnesty for barefaced lies – accusing the Syrian gov of crimes carried out by the US-GCC mercenary-terrorists. These vicious thuigs are pouring into Syria from Libya, Egypt, Qatar and Afghanistan – armed, led and with sophisticated communications and weaaapons, supplied by the US-terror-state.
    Amnesty is funded and directed by the US & UK governments and always has been. It cut its teeth, covering-up the Apartheid crimes in S Africa and the old Rhodesia – and nothing has changed.

    Wake up people and smell the racist-Imperialism.

  19. I was horrified by this report on Syria, and I hope that the whistleblower does not get punished in any way for the photographic evidence, and for bringing this to the attention of the World. Torture and committing war crimes by any country is completely unnaceptable and must be investigated fully and independently so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice, along with those that sanctioned it, and maybe those that tried to surpress information on it.

    Whilst researching systematic torture, and war crimes I came across the following articles:

    Warning some of these images of torture are graphic and may offend or shock some people
    http://generalstrikeusa.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/

    and
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/01/21/iraq-