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Syria’s killers emboldened by international paralysis

 Flickr / Freedom House /  2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

22 August 2014 - “I deeply regret that, given the onset of so many other armed conflicts in this period of global destabilization, the fighting in Syria and its dreadful impact on millions of civilians has dropped off the international radar,” the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay announced today.

191,369 cases of individuals have been killed in Syria between March 2011 and the end of April 2014, according to an updated analysis carried out by data specialists on behalf of the UN Human Rights Office.

“With additional killings reported from earlier periods, in addition to the new killings that have taken place, the total is more than double the number documented a year ago. Nevertheless, as the report explains, tragically it is probably an underestimate of the real total number of people killed during the first three years of this murderous conflict,” Pillay said.  

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. UN PhotoRecords of reported killings were compared in order to identify duplicates. However, the statistical analysts who produced all three UN reports stressed that: “The enumeration is not the complete number of conflict-related killings in Syria.”

Some 85.1 percent (162,925) of the victims documented so far are male, and 9.3 percent (17,795) are female. As in the previous reports, the analysis was not able to differentiate between combatants and non-combatants. The killings of 8,803 minors, including 2,165 children under ten years old, have been documented so far and the real total is likely to be higher, given that in 83.8 percent of cases, the victim’s ages have not so far been recorded.

“It is scandalous that the predicament of the injured, displaced, the detained, and the relatives of all those who have been killed or are missing is no longer attracting much attention, despite the enormity of their suffering,” Pillay said.  

“It is a real indictment of the age we live in that not only has this been allowed to continue so long, with no end in sight, but it is also now impacting horrendously on hundreds of thousands of other people across the border in northern Iraq, and the violence has also spilled over into Lebanon”, she stated.

“The killers, destroyers and torturers in Syria have been empowered and emboldened by the international paralysis,” the High Commissioner said.

“There are serious allegations that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed time and time again with total impunity, yet the Security Council has failed to refer the case of Syria to the International Criminal Court, where it clearly belongs”, she further continued. “It is essential Governments take serious measures to halt the fighting and deter the crimes, and above all stop fuelling this monumental, and wholly avoidable, human catastrophe through the provision of arms and other military supplies.”

UNRIC's related links:

Latest Updated statistical analysis of Documentation of Killings in the Syrian Arab Republic in full
on Syria

Yazidis seek shelter in Syria
Accountability in Syria


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