New Report And Website Track Syria's Surge of Deaths In Custody

Hamza Ali al-Khateeb

Hamza Ali al-Khateeb

On April 29, Hamza Ali al-Khateeb joined hundreds of people from al-Jeeza and other villages in peaceful marches towards Dera’a, Syria. The protesters were attacked by Syrian security forces, who reportedly shot at them and arrested several hundred people.

Thirteen year old Hamza Ali al-Khateeb was one of many who went missing. He was later reported to be held by Air Force Intelligence.

On May 24, Hamza’s family received a phone call to say there was a body in the al-Jeeza Hospital morgue which they should see, and one of Hamza’s relatives went to identify his body.


Accountability For Victims Of Human Rights Abuses In Syria

By Mahsa Maleki, Syria Country Specialist

A protester with his fingers painted with the Syrian flag flashes a victory sign during a demonstration in Istanbul on April 29, 2011, against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and to denounce the bloody crackdown on protests. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

Since protests demanding reform began on March 15 in Syria, hundreds have been detained or  injured and more than 450 protesters killed by Syrian security forces.

Members of the army and paramilitaries have shot into crowds of protesters and mourners using live ammunition, while snipers have shot and killed people in the streets and their homes and targeted medical workers and those helping the wounded.

Although the Syrian government and the Syrian state news agency have attributed many killings to members of “terrorist” and “fundamentalist” armed groups, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the evidence clearly indicates that security forces of the Syrian government are responsible.

Amnesty International has asked the Syrian authorities for permission to enter the country to investigate alleged human rights violations first hand.