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Amnesty finds evidence of state-sponsored abuse in Syria

Amnesty finds evidence of state-sponsored abuse in Syria

London: Human rights group Amnesty International has said it has collected evidence of state-sponsored rights abuses in Syria.

In its 70-page report titled "Deadly Reprisals", the Britain-based human rights organisation called for international action to "stop unlawful killings, torture, arbitrary detention and the wanton destruction of homes" by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"This disturbing new evidence of an organised pattern of grave abuses highlights the pressing need for decisive international action to stem the tide of increasingly widespread attacks against the civilian population, including crimes against humanity and war crimes, committed by government forces and militias with utter impunity," said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's senior crisis adviser.

Rovera recently spent several weeks investigating human rights violations in northern Syria.

The UN says more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since anti-government protests started in March 2011.

Syria denies it is responsible for the deaths and blames the violence on "terrorists".

A cease-fire brokered by the UN and Arab League was done little to stop the violence. A car bomb reportedly exploded Thursday in a Damascus suburb, home to a Shia Muslim shrine, killing at least one person, Al Jazeera reported.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has called the conflict a "civil war", and said France would ask the UN Security Council to make the cease fire obligatory. He also announced his intention to push the European Union to toughen sanctions against Syria.

"For more than a year the UN Security Council has dithered, while a human rights crisis unfolded in Syria. It must now break the impasse and take concrete action to end to these violations and to hold to account those responsible," Amnesty said.


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