Syrian refugees 'tortured and raped' on return home, Amnesty

Including children by Assad's security services, report states

07 September, 18:10

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, SEPT 7 - Syrian security forces have subjected Syrians who returned home after seeking refuge abroad to arbitrary detention, disappearance, and torture, including sexual violence, Amnesty International said in a report released on Tuesday.

    "With a number of states - including Denmark, Sweden and Turkey - restricting protection and putting pressure on refugees from Syria to go home, the harrowing testimony in Amnesty International's report is proof that no part of Syria is safe to return to. Returnees told Amnesty International that intelligence officers explicitly targeted them for their decision to flee Syria, accusing them of disloyalty or "terrorism", a statement issued on the report said, calling for countries to prevent any "forced" returns.

    The Syrian government refuses to distinguish between the political opposition, rebel forces, and jihadists. The organization "documented a catalogue of horrific violations committed by Syrian intelligence officers against 66 returnees, including 13 children. Among these violations, Amnesty International documented five cases whereby detainees had died in custody after returning to Syria, while the fate of 17 forcibly disappeared people remains unknown." The report, entitled "You're Going to Your Death", Amnesty said that it had "recorded 27 cases of enforced disappearance. In five cases, authorities eventually informed families that their disappeared relatives had died in custody; five were eventually released; the fate of the other 17 people remains unknown".

    It also noted "14 cases of sexual violence committed by security forces, including seven cases of rape, committed against five women, a teenage boy and a five-year-old girl. Sexual violence took place at border crossings or in detention centres, during questioning. Testimonies are consistent with well-documented patterns of sexual violence and rape committed against civilians and detainees during the conflict by pro-government forces".

    The cases documented by Amnesty include returnees from France, Germany, Turkey, Jordan and the UAE.(ANSAmed). (ANSA).

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