A investigation by Human Rights Watch has identified the locations of 27 different "torture centers" across Syria where thousands of citizens have been interrogated and abused since the nation's uprising began in March of 2011. The activist group has issued an stunning 81-page report based of interviews with more than 200 people who spent time in the facilities, and those detainees were able to identify the exact location of the centers, the branch of the security services running each one, and in many cases, the identity of the military official running the prison.
In addition to identifying the location of the centers, former detainees provided graphic details on the torture methods being used, which include beatings, electric shocks, burning, fingernail pulling, and sexual assault. Some of the torture victims were interviewed included women, the elderly, and even children.
HRW concludes that responsibility for the torture goes all the way up to the highest levels of the Syrian government, including president Bashar al-Assasd. Unfortunately, because Syria never ratified the treaty that created the International Criminal Court it would take a resolution by the full United Nations Security Council (including China and Russia) to bring any of the perpetrators to justice.
In other Syrian news:
- Bashar al-Assad tried to ease tenions between his nation and Turkey today, by saying that he regrets that a Turkish fighter jet was shot down last month and that he would not allow the situation to deteroriate into "open combat between the two countries." Assad also said the plane was shot down because it was using a "corridor" that had previously been used by Israeli warplanes, adding "Of course I might have been happy if this had been an Israeli plane."
- A meeting of Syrian opposition groups in Cairo was hampered after one of the groups, the General Revolution Commission, withdrew. The groups were meeting to discuss a "road map" for a post-Assad transition, but did not include the Free Syrian Army, which is doing the majority of the fighting against the Syrian military.
- A neighborhood in Damascus was bombarded by attack helicopters on Monday, as fighting to continues to move into the heart of the capital. At least 78 people were killed across the nation yesterday, and more than 800 have died in the last week alone.
- The video seen below, taken on Saturday, captures a bomb exploding the middle of a funeral procession for a man who been killed on Friday. More video of the aftermath can be found via The New York Times website.