GENEVA (3 February 2017) – Mass gang-rape, killings – including of babies and young children, brutal beatings, disappearances and other serious human rights violations by Myanmar’s security forces in a sealed-off area north of Maungdaw in northern Rakhine State have been detailed in a new UN report issued Friday based on interviews with victims across the border in Bangladesh.
Of the 204 people individually interviewed by a team of UN human rights investigators, the vast majority reported witnessing killings, and almost half reported having a family member who was killed as well as family members who were missing. Of the 101 women interviewed, more than half reported having suffered rape or other forms of sexual violence.
Especially revolting were the accounts of children – including an eight-month old, a five-year-old and a six-year-old – who were slaughtered with knives. One mother recounted how her five-year-old daughter was trying to protect her from rape when a man “took out a long knife and killed her by slitting her throat.” In another case, an eight-month-old baby was reportedly killed while his mother was gang-raped by five security officers.
“The devastating cruelty to which these Rohingya children have been subjected is unbearable – what kind of hatred could make a man stab a baby crying out for his mother’s milk. And for the mother to witness this murder while she is being gang-raped by the very security forces who should be protecting her – what kind of ‘clearance operation’ is this? What national security goals could possibly be served by this?” High Commissioner Zeid said, noting the report suggests the recent level of violence to be unprecedented.
“I call on the international community, with all its strength, to join me in urging the leadership in Myanmar to bring such military operations to an end. The gravity and scale of these allegations begs the robust reaction of the international community.”
After the repeated failure of the Government of Myanmar to grant the UN Human Rights Office unfettered access to the worst-affected areas of northern Rakhine State, High Commissioner Zeid deployed a team of human rights officers to the Bangladeshi border with Myanmar, where an estimated 66,000 Rohingya have fled since 9 October 2016.
All the individuals interviewed by the team had fled Myanmar after the 9 October attacks against three border guard posts, which had prompted intense military operations and a lockdown in north Maungdaw. The military indicated that it was conducting “area clearance operations” in the region.
The report cites consistent testimony indicating that hundreds of Rohingya houses, schools, markets, shops, madrasas and mosques were burned by the army, police and sometimes civilian mobs. Witnesses also described the destruction of food and food sources, including paddy fields, and the confiscation of livestock.
“Numerous testimonies collected from people from different village tracts…confirmed that the army deliberately set fire to houses with families inside, and in other cases pushed Rohingyas into already burning houses,” the report states. “Testimonies were collected of several cases where the army or Rakhine villagers locked an entire family, including elderly and disabled people, inside a house and set it on fire, killing them all.”
Several people were killed in indiscriminate and random shooting, many while fleeing for safety. Those who suffered serious physical injuries had almost no access to emergency medical care, and many of the people interviewed remained visibly traumatized by the human rights violations they survived or witnessed. People who did not know the fate of loved ones who had been rounded up by the army or separated while fleeing were particularly distressed.
Many witnesses and victims also described being taunted while they were being beaten, raped or rounded up, such as being told “you are Bangladeshis and you should go back” or “What can your Allah do for you? See what we can do?” The violence since 9 October follows a long-standing pattern of violations and abuses; systematic and systemic discrimination; and policies of exclusion and marginalization against the Rohingya that have been in place for decades in northern Rakhine State, the report notes.*
Reports suggest that operations by security forces in the area have continued into January 2017, although their intensity and frequency may have reduced.
“The killing of people as they prayed, fished to feed their families or slept in their homes, the brutal beating of children as young as two and an elderly woman aged 80 – the perpetrators of these violations, and those who ordered them, must be held accountable,” High Commissioner Zeid said. “The Government of Myanmar must immediately halt these grave human rights violations against its own people, instead of continuing to deny they have occurred, and accepts the responsibility to ensure that victims have access to justice, reparations and safety.”
The report concludes that the widespread violations against the Rohingya population indicate the very likely commission of crimes against humanity.
* To read the full report, please visit: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/MM/FlashReport3Feb2017.pdf
* See also the June 2016 report by the UN Human Rights Office on the situation of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session32/Pages/ListReports.aspx . The report was mandated by the UN Human Rights Council.
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Published on June 22, 2015
First UN report on children in Syria’s civil war paints picture of ‘unspeakable’ horrors
4 February 2014 – Syrian children have been subjected to “unspeakable” suffering in the nearly three years of civil war, with the Government and allied militia responsible for countless killings, maiming and torture, and the opposition for recruiting youngsters for combat and using terror tactics in civilian areas, according to the first United Nations report on the issue.
“Violations must come to an end now,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in the report, which was released yesterday to the Security Council. “I therefore urge all parties to the conflict to take, without delay, all measures to protect and uphold the rights of all children in Syria.”
The report, covering the period from 1 March 2011 to 15 November 2013, lists a raft of horrors that Syria’s children have suffered since the opposition first sought to oust President Bashar al-Assad, ranging from direct commission of abuse, including sexual violence, to more general violation of their rights from school closures and denial of access to humanitarian aid.
“The present report highlights that use of weaponry and military tactics that are disproportionate and indiscriminate by Government forces and associated militias has resulted in countless killings and the maiming of children, and has obstructed children’s access to education and health services,” Mr. Ban writes.
Government forces have also been responsible for the arrest, arbitrary detention, ill treatment and torture of children. Armed opposition groups have been responsible for the recruitment and use of children both in combat and support roles, as well as for conducting military operations, including using terror tactics, in civilian-populated areas, leading to civilian casualties, including children.”
The report spotlights the disappearance of many children, notes that all parties to the conflict have seriously hampered the delivery of humanitarian assistance in areas most affected by the fighting, and warns that children have experienced a high level of distress as a result of witnessing the killing and injuring of members of their families and peers, or of being separated from their family and/or displaced.
Detailing the detention of children as young as 11 years old for alleged association with armed groups by Government forces in large-scale arrest campaigns, the reports says they were ill-treated and tortured to extract confessions or humiliate them or pressure a relative to surrender or confess.
“Ill treatment and acts tantamount to torture reportedly included beatings with metal cables, whips and wooden and metal batons; electric shock, including to the genitals; the ripping out of fingernails and toenails; sexual violence, including rape or threats of rape; mock executions; cigarette burns; sleep deprivation; solitary confinement; and exposure to the torture of relatives,” the report says.
“Reports indicate that children were also suspended from walls or ceilings by their wrists or other limbs, were forced to put their head, neck and legs through a tire while being beaten, and were tied to a board and beaten.
The report cites a 16-year-old boy as saying he witnessed his 14-year-old male friend being sexually assaulted and then killed, and notes other allegations that boys and in a few instances girls were raped. The 16-year-old said children and adults were beaten with metal bars, their fingernails pulled out, their fingers cut. “Or they were beaten with a hammer in the back, sometimes until death,” he added.
Allegations of sexual violence by opposition groups were also received, but the UN was unable to further investigate them due to lack of access, the report says.
It adds that opposition forces recruited and used both in support roles and for combat, while Government forces used children as human shields. It notes that during the first two years of the conflict, most killings and maiming of children were attributed to Government forces, but mainly due to increased access to heavy weapons and the use of terror tactics opposition groups increasingly engaged in such acts in 2013.
“Armed opposition groups also engaged in the summary execution of children,” it says, reporting that lack of access, including for security reasons, prevented the UN from systematic documentation.
Schools and hospitals have been disproportionally targeted by all parties, with indications that Government forces were the main perpetrators of attacks against hospitals and other health-care infrastructure, mainly opposition-run makeshift health facilities and of threats and attacks against medical personnel, according to the report.
“Injured opposition fighters and civilians, including children, admitted to Government hospitals in perceived pro-opposition areas in Aleppo, Dar’a, Homs and Idlib governorates were reportedly exposed to arrest, detention, ill treatment and acts tantamount to torture by civilian doctors, and/or elements of Government forces,” it says.
The UN also received reports on instances where opposition groups denied medical treatment to injured pro-Government fighters, or misused ambulances, including to cross Government checkpoints.
In his list of recommendations, Mr. Ban calls on all sides to stop all grave violations against children cited in the report, end all indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilian areas, including terror tactics, airstrikes, chemical weapons and heavy artillery, allow unimpeded humanitarian access, and immediately release abducted women and children.
More than 20,000 children have been killed in the Syrian civil war, the United Nations says, while many more are subjected to “unspeakable” suffering, including rape, torture and recruitment for combat. Torture was applied equally to adults and children by Assad’s Regime forces!
The report says methods of torture inflicted on children include beatings with metal cables, whips and metal batons; electric shock, including to the genitals; the ripping out of fingernails and toenails; sexual violence, including rape or threats of rape; mock executions; cigarette burns; sleep deprivation; solitary confinement; and exposure to the torture of relatives. United Nations
What is freedom?
The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
“Revolution was the only path to freedom!”
10,000 Syrian children killed in civil war, others raped, tortured and maimed: United Nations
Syria children are paying the heaviest price!
Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad doing things for money is not a characteristic that’s unique to Syria. They are awarded when they ‘hit the correct targets”.
The Syrian crisis has been unique among the Arab Spring uprisings (and many other conflicts) in its deliberate targeting of children and the worst torture techniques are regularly used even on pre-teen children.
The question we all have to answer is why do we give him the freedom to implement this child-killing strategy?
War Child UK released, Syria: A War on Childhood, documenting how Assad’s forces take children from their parents, schools and communities and transfer these children to detention centers or military units for use as human shields. The children are brutally tortured, raped, and murdered. “Children and young people have been summarily massacred; illegally detained; sexual abused; used in combat; abducted and tortured; denied schooling and access to humanitarian aid; and deliberately targeted in violent attacks.”
Assad’s New Strategy: Nothing Makes People Flee Like Murdering Their Children
The most shocking thing was the deliberate killing of children
Syrian Detainees: Torture is barbaric and systematic – The torture cells of Syria are places where “nobody hears your voice, nobody visits you”
“There are four security agencies in Syria, and each does all it can to prove it is more brutal than the other one.”
An interrogator at one of Damascus: “We torture people because we are sadists. We enjoy torturing people.”
Former detainee from a church-based human rights group say: “The 3 “rapist officers” they are like animals. I tried to protect myself but I’m just a short guy… when they were raping me, I start to say: ‘Please don’t do that, please don’t do that.'” As he was being raped, he says his attackers mocked him. “You want Assad to quit? This is for saying that you don’t like Bashar al-Assad.”
A teenage boy was brought into the cell. He, too, was raped. As the assault went on, the boy cried out for his mother.
A woman was arrested at a checkpoint in Homs late last year.
“He inserted a rat in her vagina. She was screaming. Afterwards we saw blood on the floor. He told her: ‘Is this good enough for you?’ They were mocking her. It was obvious she was in agony. We could see her. After that she no longer moved.”
Read more articles:
Syria ex-detainees allege ordeals of rape and sex abuse
Syria detainees endure nightmare underworld
These children and infants were maimed permanently by the Assad’s Regime Forces. They will have a very tough life ahead of them!
Syrian children has to face with Assad’s Rockets Attack, Explosive Barrels Bombs, Artillery, Tanks, Naval Ships, Cluster Bombs, Airstrikes by Warplanes, Ground Operations, Chemical Weapons, Napalm, Phosphorous Bombs, Sarin Nerve Gas, Mortar, Firearms, Torture, Starvation, Sexual Abuse, Cigarette Burns, Sleep Deprivation, Solitary Confinement, Rape, Electric Shock…
Definition of maim: Mutilation or injure (someone) so that part of the body is permanently damaged.
Synonyms for maim: injure, wound, cripple, disable, incapacitate, impair, mar, mutilate, lacerate, disfigure, deform, mangle