Children being detained and tortured by Syrian authorities, says UN human rights chief


Showing the world was right to be skeptical about President Bashar al Assad’s reported acceptance of a peace plan to end the bloodbath in Syria, the United Nations human rights chief is now saying that authorities are targeting children in their gruesome campaign to crush rebel forces.

In an interview with the BBC, the UN’s Navi Pillay says, “They’ve gone for the children—for whatever purposes—in large numbers. Hundreds detained and tortured… it’s just horrendous.”

It’s not the first time children are reported to be a specific target of Syrian government authorities. But, as the BBC’s Fergal Keane argues, Pillay’s comments hold a special heavy weight:

Navi Pillay is one of the most experienced international war-crimes experts. Before taking up her UN role as high commissioner for human rights, she served as a judge on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the tribunal investigating the Rwandan genocide.

As a lawyer of more than 45 years experience Mrs Pillay has learned to choose her words carefully. That is why her forthright comments on President Bashar al-Assad will arouse interest.

Whether her comments prompt any further action by the international community to stop Assad’s bloody campaign, however, remains to be seen.


Filed under:

Children being detained and tortured by Syrian authorities, says UN human rights chief

  1. Good for Ms. Pillay.

    This is horrendous and as a woman she is right to point this out.  It is hard to believe that grown men in Syria, within the army have so little manhood as to target the easiest and most defenseless, children.  They must think they are striking terror into the population that opposes them.  Hardly, they are broadcasting to the world their moral cowardice.   Men by no means, they are little more than failures as soldiers and to be regarded as such. Any real army would take out these miscreants in a heartbeat. This is beneath the dignity of any soldier anywhere, and despicable. I urge the soldiers and army  giving alllegiance to ASSAD to  Please turn away from this pathetic figure, a very sad example of a man indeed…
    This man is a true coward and looks it to boot.  

    Anna Lynn Meloche.;

  2. How psychologically damaged do you have to be to torture a child? Assad is going to cause mass mental sickness  within his whole armed forces with these tactics. A scarred society even if he is deposed, I suppose that’s his goal.

Sign in to comment.