World Middle East 20 Feb 2017 'He forced my l ...

'He forced my legs apart': Women reveal how Syrian forces rape, torture them

DECCAN CHRONICLE | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Feb 20, 2017, 1:03 pm IST
Updated Feb 20, 2017, 1:32 pm IST
The Syrian regime denies normalizing rape and abuse as a way of interrogation procedure and punishment for men and women.
The victim added that she was also put in solitary confinement, before she was released in exchange for prisoners in a deal between the government and rebels. (Representational Image)
 The victim added that she was also put in solitary confinement, before she was released in exchange for prisoners in a deal between the government and rebels. (Representational Image)

Geneva: According to a report by the centre for women, peace and security at the London School of Economics, women imprisoned in Syrian prisons are tortured and raped daily.

These findings were published before talks in Geneva, where world powers hope to reach a political settlement with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

The assaults are punishment for minor offences such as having a picture of the revolutionary flag on their phone. The violence is so frequent and systematic that contraceptive pills are passed out to the imprisoned women.

The Syrian regime has denied normalising rape and abuse as a way of interrogation procedure and punishment for men and women.

In a report released earlier in February, Amnesty International found that up to 13,000 men were hanged in just one prison.

A lawyer from the port city of Latakia identified only as Basima, was arrested on suspicion for helping terrorist groups. She claims she was educating civilians on first aid with skills she learned as a Red Crescent volunteer.

 

She added that she was also put in solitary confinement, before she was released in exchange for prisoners in a deal between the government and rebels. She was pulled out everyday for torture. Many such stories have surfaced.

The United Nations said on Friday that it is no longer using the phrase 'political transition' to describe the goals of next week's Syria peace talks, in a potentially major concession to negotiators representing al-Assad.

'Political transition' is a phrase understood by the opposition to mean a removal of Assad or at least an erosion of his powers.

 

At previous peace talks in Geneva, the government’s negotiators have tried to digress from discussing anything about political transition.

A spokeswoman for UN envoy Staffan de Mistura, told the media, “I think, yes, you can use the word 'political transition'. It is going to be a focus I guess as it has been in the past.” However, she later sent a mail to clarify her comment.

The last set of U.N.-led Syria talks in Geneva ended in April 2016, with UN envoy Staffan de Mistura setting out a summary of what had been agreed so far and what next steps were needed.

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Location: Switzerland, Geneve, Geneve




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