HRW’s Syria Report: ‘Torture Archipelago’ – OpEd


By Sema Karaca

Today, the Human Rights Watch released a new report on ill-treatment and torture in Syria containing the period from March 2011 up to today. By using a very large data from the interviews made with offenders and torture victims, report shows that al-Assad regime still tries to hold on helplessly. So, the challenge method against the democrat opponents hardens day by day. What is rather remarkable is that the children and women are also the victims of this crime against humanity.

From the very beginning, al-Assad regime has not hang back to keep the violence away from the children and women. Most of the massacre news from Hama, Idlib and Aleppo included children -especially the male ones- who was killed by Shabbiha forces atrociously. The report “Torture Archipelago: Arbitrary Arrests, Torture and Enforces Disaapearences in Syria’s Underground Prisons Since March 2011” released that the Assad regime committed many war crimes during the time civil war began. But the most important thing here is that regime did it systematically. The torture centers revealed by the HRW reporters bring the legitimacy crisis of the regime to light in Syria, thus in the world again.

The report begins with recommendations to UN Security Council, all countries, to the Arab League, to Russia and China and finally to the Syrian Government. After, it represents a broad explanation about torture and ill-treatment in Syria under two titles.

According to HRW, there are 27 torture and detention centers in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Latakia, Daraa and Idlib. The conditions in these prison-like places are abject. In a nearly 20 m² across room, approximately 70 people can be imprisoned and they can be exposed to the most humiliating treatments.

Although the report just includes one year-period from March 2011, it gives a very extensive and detailed data on al-Assad regime’s torture mechanism as a supression policy against the opponents. The report discloses all the methods, centers, and commanders of this mechanism.


JTW - the Journal of Turkish Weekly - is a respected Turkish news source in English language on international politics. Established in 2004, JTW is published by Ankara-based Turkish think tank International Strategic Research Organization (USAK).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *