SNHR’s documentation policy requires that documents be provided from at least two different sources unconnected with each other.
SNHR does not issue statistics unless they are provided from files containing very precise details of each death case, fully identified by the name of the victim, as well as the date and location of death.
Using these standards, SNHR was adopted by the UN as one of the most important resources in statistics related to the victims of the Syrian conflicts, and from the renowned statistics provided at the beginning of this year, which stated the killing of 60.000 Syrian citizens. SNHR was also adopted as the main source for many news agencies.
SNHR documented civilian casualties in addition to free army victims as a result of the possibility to apply the network’s criteria in documentation and verification. This criteria is not applicable to the Syrian Government’s Armed Forces’ dead because such information compiling is restricted and subject to prosecution.
Between Syria’s uprising began in March 2011, and as of May 15 2013, SNHR documented that at least 80159 people were killed. The distribution is as follows: 75992 civilians (91% civilian victims), 7606 Syrian Free Army (9% fighter brigades).
Among the civilians: 7686 women, 8329 children, and 2441 people who were tortured to death
(The following link to the official SNHR website is provided below, you can find the names and details of all the victims)
As a reference, we were able to document by name, location, photo and video within the available possibilities under the embargo and censorship imposed by the Syrian Government. Although our estimation suggests that the real number of victims is double, up to nearly a quarter million.
In Syria, a civilian is killed by the Syrian Government’s Armed Troops every eight hours, 135 civilians are killed on a daily basis. Every two hours a child killed, and every three hours a woman is killed.
The following chart shows the distribution of the 83598 victims in the Syrian governorates:
Damascus countryside: 17551 victims
Homs: 14254 victims
Aleppo: 11770 victims
Idlib: 10161 victims
Daraa: 7472 victims
Hama: 6492 victims
Damascus: 5597 victims
Dier Alzoor: 5477 victims
Lattakia: 1435 victims
Raqqa: 953 victims
Qunaitra: 651 victims
Hasaka: 638 victims
Tartous: 338 victims
Swidaa: 119 victims
Syrian Government’s Armed Forces killed 8329 children, including 82 children who were arrested and tortured to death. The proportion of child victims relative to victims overall is 9%, which is considerably high, and indicates that civilians are deliberately targeted and systematically killed. In addition there are almost 9000 children currently detained by Syrian Government’s Armed Forces.
Syrian Government’s Armed Forces killed 7686 women, including 24 women who were arrested and tortured to death. Among the female victims, 2507 girls were killed. The proportion of female victims relative to victims overall is 9%, which is considerably high, and indicates that civilians are deliberately targeted and systematically killed. Nearly 6500 women are currently detained, and more than 5000 women were raped by Syrian Government’s Armed Forces.
Torturing to death:
Syrian Government’s Armed Forces systematically and deliberately violated international conventions and laws that clearly and explicitly prohibit torture by using very brutal torture methods against detainees. Such actions led to the deaths of 2441 Syrian civilians, including 82 children, 24 women, 51 over senior citizens, and 106 armed rebels; This shows that less than 5% of those tortured were armed rebels, and the rest were civilians.
There is a high volume of cases for those who were tortured to death, but due to the restrictions and inaccessibility to work in the Syrian territory, we were unable to document them. This reveals that the real number could be far greater than what is currently known, especially since there are prisons who torture people to death and throw the bodies of the tortured into vacant land or rivers in an effort to decompose and disintegrate them and blur the crime.
Condemnation And Responsibilities
Responsibility of states for internationally wrongful acts, similarly Customary IHL provides that the state is responsible for all acts committed by a member of its military and security forces, thus, the state is responsible for those wrongful acts committed by its military and security forces including crimes against humanity.
Prohibition crimes against humanity are among the rules of jus cogens or peremptory, and the punishment of such crimes is compulsory according to the General principles of international law. Moreover, the crimes against humanity are the highest violations of basic human rights, such as the right to life and the prohibition of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In accordance with the principles, the State is responsible under international law. Syrian Arabic Republic must be held responsible for such crimes and violations, for the duty to ensure punishment of the perpetrators individually, and the duty to provide compensation to victims.
SNHR holds that all violations committed by the Syrian Government Armed Forces to the Syrian government and the General Commander of the army and the armed forces, Bashar Al-Assad, and to all the officials of security branches, and to all financial and moral supporters to those forces, with the legal judicial and material consequences to the victims and their families in addition to all the reactions that will come from the victims’ families or their friends.
1- Syrian Government Armed Forces committed extensive systematic crimes against humanity by unlawful killings
2- Syrian Government Armed Forces committed these extensive systematic crimes in non international armed conflicts, so such crimes should be considered war crimes
3- Syrian government by killing and targeting civilians violated both International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law
1- Immediately stop all human rights’ violations.
2- Respect international obligations in the protection of civilians in time of war, and respect the rules of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
Lebanese and Iraqi Governments
The Lebanese and Iraqi Governments should control their borders, and the Government of Lebanon must take necessary measures to prevent Hezbollah from attacking and occupying Syrian territory, stop them from shelling Syrian territory from Lebanon, and to stop facilitating logistical supplies to Syria Government’s Armed forces.
International Commission of Inquiry :
The International Commission of inquiry must live up to its level of expectation and give an accurate description of violations committed by the Syrian Government’s Armed Forces against the Syrian people.
Human Rights Council:
1- Demand the Security Council and the concerned international institutions to hold the Syrian government responsible for what’s happening for the Syrian People who suffer from murder, rape, displacement, and unlawful arrest
2- Pay serious attention to cases involving death by torture, considered to be the worst type of crime.
3- Pressure the Syrian Government Troops to stop torturing and killing, and release all those who were kidnapped and arrested
4- Hold alias and supporters of the Syrian Government Troops: Russia, Iran, and China, morally and physically responsible for what is happening to the Syrian people
1- Refer all the criminals involved to the ICC
2- Warn the Syrian Government Troops of the repercussions of using brutal methods on the stability of civil peace and coexistence between the people of the same society
3- Add the Syrian National Army, Shabiha troops loyal to Syrian Government’s Armed troops, and Lebanese Hezbollah on the international terror list
1- Demand the Human Rights Council and United Nations to give serious, and the appropriate attention, necessary to stop the daily killing
2- Political and diplomatic pressure on the Syrian Government Troops ‘s mainallies-Russia, Iran, and China – to prevent them from continuously providing cover, and international and political protection for all the crimes committed against the Syrian people, and hold them morally and physically responsible for all the excesses of the Syrian Government Troops
3- Serious attention of this case and give it high priority, and try to take care of victim families psychologically, materially, and educationally