Amnesty say crackdown may be crimes against humanity

originally by: Sky News
published: 7th July 2011

Amnesty International says Syrian security forces may have committed crimes against humanity during their military crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

The human rights group cites witness accounts of deaths in custody, torture and arbitrary detention during a military operation against civilians in Talkalakh, a town near the Lebanese border.

Tank units, security forces and pro-regime thugs moved into the town and killed as many as 36 people after weeks of protests calling for the removal of President Bashar al Assad, according to activists.

The report coincides with another military crackdown on the city of Hama, where tanks and soldiers have moved in after a week of massive anti-regime protests and are claimed to have killed more than 20.

New video footage posted on the internet apparently shows security forces in Homs relentlessly beating a protester in recent days. The dramatic video goes on to show protesters forcing back security forces and rescuing the badly beaten man.

Amnesty’s report may increase international pressure on Assad’s regime as it presses attacks on various fronts, while convening a summit apparently aimed at discussing reform.

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