UN fears activists outside Syria targeted

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The office of the UN's human rights chief raised alarm Friday that the Syrian regime's crackdown against protestors also appeared to be targeting activists outside the country.

"We are extremely alarmed by ongoing reports of the increasingly brutal crackdown by Syrian authorities against protestors in Syria," spokeswoman of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani told reporters.

"Prominent human rights defenders, inside and outside the country, are reported to have been targeted," she added.

Although the spokeswoman would not give details about the alleged attacks outside Syria, she said that "we've received enough reports for us to warrant us to highlight that this is happening."

"We are also concerned by reports of the targeting and attacking of families and sympathisers of the protesters by security forces," she added.

In one recent case, the mutilated body of Zeinab al-Hosni, an 18-year-old woman from Homs who had been tortured and died in custody was discovered by her family on 13 September, noted the spokeswoman.

"We have received unconfirmed reports that she had been abducted by members of the security forces on 27 July, apparently to pressure her activist brother to turn himself in," Shamdasani added.

Over 2,700 people have been killed in Syria's bloody crackdown on protestors, the OHCHR said on Wednesday.

On Monday, Deputy High Commissioner Kyung-wha Kang urged the Security Council to refer the violations in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

© 2011 AFP

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