Torture Continues In Syria:
232 Dies of Torture in 2017
Torture continued to be an issue in Syria, leading to 232 deaths in 2017 alone. The Syrian Regime forces were responsible for the torture and death of 211 of the total individuals inside official and non-official detention centers.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) recently released a report detailing the torture of individuals inside Syria throughout 2017. The Syrian regime continues to deny the executing, arresting and torture of these individuals, despite first-hand accounts and evidence proving otherwise.
The SNHR report details 232 individuals dying due to torture. These numbers include 2 women and 3 children. Other death tolls by torture include 7 by Armed Opposition forces, 5 from Extremist groups, 5 from Kurdish forces, and 4 from other parties.
"The norm of 'Responsibility to Protect' must be implemented in light of the government's failure to protect its people, and the fruitlessness of the diplomatic and peaceful efforts so far" says Fadel Ghany, chairman of the SNHR. "Crimes against humanity and war crimes are being perpetrated every day in Syria and mainly at the hands of the organs of the state itself."
The most notable deaths by torture in 2017 were the deaths of veterinarians Loay Mustafa Thalja and Mu'men Mahmoud al Khalaf. Loay Mustafa Thalja was arrested as he headed to Saudi Arabia, and died from torture in a Damascus City detention center. Mu'men Mahoud al Khalaf was arrested in 2014, and was tortured until news of his death was released on December 19, 2017.
The highest rate of death by torture in 2017 came out of Damscus and its suburbs governates, with 46 individuals. Other areas with high death by torture tolls include: 42 in Daraa, 31 in Akeppo, 29 in Idlib, 25 in Homs, 20 in Zour, 15 in Hama.
Death tolls by torture did see a decrease from the previous years, after the Ankara Ceasefire Agreement announced on December 30, 2016. However, the Syrian regime in particular did not stop extrajudicial killings in the affected areas.
Although Russian forces reduced their killings in Syria after the Ankara Ceasefire Agreement, they did not pressure their ally, the Syrian Regime, to cease their extrajudicial killings and torture in Syria. It is also up to the Security Council to refer the cases of torture and war crimes to the International Criminal court.