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Wed Sep 25, 2013, 04:27 PM

Mother Jones: "We Made Them Suck Their Own Blood off the Floor:" Assad's Other War Crimes


A sketch of a detainee being hung from the ceiling by his wrists and beaten, a common torture technique in Syria.

A new report from the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Syria illuminates the increasingly brutal tactics that the country's government—and, to a lesser degree, rebels—are deploying against civilians, from electrocution and rape to enlisting medical professionals to help torture hospitalized detainees. Significantly, while the report focuses on the commission's findings from mid-May to mid-July and doesn't cover the August chemical-weapons attack near Damascus, it concludes that both sides are guilty of war crimes and also accuses pro-government forces of crimes against humanity.

The media and human rights groups have documented a raft of brutal torture methods deployed by government forces, including electrocution; beatings with batons, cables, and whips; mock execution; burning detainees with battery acid, and ripping out facial hair. A former Syrian intelligence officer who defected to Turkey described similarly cruel techniques in an interview with CNN last year saying, "We took their fingernails out with pliers and we made them eat them. We made them suck their own blood off the floor."

Disappearances have "risen exponentially" since the Syrian conflict began, a trend that has sewn terror among the civilians, according to the United Nations. What's more, families who try to find missing relatives risk the same fate. Often, a family's only hope of getting information about a disappeared relative is from other recently released detainees. (One man who had been detained by a government intelligence service told investigators that he was rushed by "dozens of women thrusting photographs of their male relatives" upon his release.) The UN report also notes that desperation of these families has made them targets for extortion: "Some families pay bribes to those who—often falsely—claimed they could provide them information."

Contrary to claims from the Assad regime, which has blamed rebels for many of the atrocities, the UN commission found that pro-Assad forces were responsible for at least 8 massacres. Among the bloodiest was the assault on the Damascus suburb of Jdeidat Al-Fadel. In April, government forces shelled the area relentlessly, while snipers stationed along the roads out of town mowed down civilians trying to escape. The following month, the government staged its infamous raid on the Sunni villages of al-Bayda and Baniyas and slaughtered hundreds more civilians. Anti-regime activists captured video of the aftermath, which according to the BBC showed "bloodied and tangled bodies of women and children, some of them mutilated or partly incinerated." In other cases, government forces deliberately shelled hospitals, killing medical staff, along with sick and wounded civilians.

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/09/chemical-weapons-war-crimes-syria-un

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Reply Mother Jones: "We Made Them Suck Their Own Blood off the Floor:" Assad's Other War Crimes (Original post)
pampango Sep 2013 OP
dipsydoodle Sep 2013 #1
Nye Bevan Sep 2013 #2

Response to pampango (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 04:32 PM

1. Looks similar to what Omar Sulieman was taught to do in Egypt

particularly to those renditioned there.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 05:00 PM

2. This was alerted on and I was on the jury; it was 6-0 to leave.

But I do see that the picture might disturb some DUers. Perhaps you could consider adding a graphic warning.

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