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.