Reports of child torture in Syria: UN panel

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The UN Committee Against Torture said on Friday it had received reports of massive human rights violations in Syria, including the detention and mutilation of children.

"The committee has reviewed numerous, consistent and substantiated reports and information about widespread rights violations in the country," the head of the panel Claudio Grossman said in a statement.

"Of particular concern are reports referring to children who have suffered torture and mutilation while detained."

The committee, currently winding up its 47th session in Geneva, has asked the Syrian government to provide a report by March 9 laying out the measures it is taking to ensure its obligations under the UN Convention against Torture are being met.

"The committee is alarmed by the fact that these reports of massive human rights violations take place in a context of total and absolute impunity, as prompt, thorough and impartial investigations have not been undertaken in such cases," said Grossman.

The United Nations says more than 3,500 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since anti-regime protests first broke out in Syria in mid-March, while thousands of people have been detained.

© 2011 AFP

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