UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Syria is a ‘torture chamber’

The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced the failure of the UN to end “the senseless carnage” in Syria. 

The United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, stressed the need to put an end to the “torture chamber” that Syria has become after six years of civil war.

“The entire country has become a torture chamber, a place of savage horror and absolute injustice,” al-Hussein stated in an address to the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday during a session focusing on Syria.  “Countless people have suffered arbitrary detention, torture, kidnap and enforced disappearance in Syria.”

The High Commissioner also demanded that immediate access be granted in all detention centers throughout the country.

“Humanitarian actors and international monitors must be given access to all detention centers,” he asserted. “As you know, my Office and the Commission of Inquiry have been refused access to the country, and no international human rights observers are admitted to the places where very probably tens of thousands of people are currently held.”

“Ensuring accountability, establishing the truth and providing reparations must happen if the Syrian people are ever to find reconciliation and peace,” he added. “This cannot be negotiable.”

Al-Hussein expressed regret that “vetoes have repeatedly pushed back hope for an end to this senseless carnage, and for referral of alleged international crimes to the International Criminal Court,” in apparent reference to Russia and China stymying any effort by the UN Security Council to hold the Syrian government accountable.

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“I also urge all parties holding detainees or captives to release them or at least provide the following basic information: the names and localities of those in detention, and the place of burial of those who have died,” al-Hussein said.

He also called on all parties to the conflict “to end torture, to halt executions and cease unfair trials by special and ad-hoc courts.”

The UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria found a couple of weeks ago that both sides in the Syrian civil war were guilty of war crimes.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News