SNHR: Over a Thousand Killed in Syria During 2023

Credit: (SNHR)

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) has released its annual report for Syria in 2023, shedding light on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country. The report, spanning 35 pages, provides a comprehensive overview of the human rights violations and civilian casualties throughout the year, focusing on December.

According to the report, a staggering 1,032 civilians lost their lives in Syria in 2023, including 251 children and 94 women. Additionally, 133 victims died due to torture, highlighting the harrowing extent of the atrocities committed. The report emphasizes that the crime of killing has been perpetrated in a widespread and systematic manner, primarily by Syrian regime forces and pro-regime militias.

The conflict in Syria has continued to evolve over the past decade, with new parties emerging and contributing to the complex and devastating situation. SNHR has been diligently working since 2011 to document and categorize victims’ data, enabling the organization to analyze and compare various aspects of the casualties, such as gender, age, location, and perpetrator party. This meticulous documentation has provided crucial insights into the patterns of violence and the parties responsible for the loss of innocent lives.

The report underscores the alarming reality that Syria remains one of the most dangerous nations in the world for civilians, with the death toll continuing to rise unabated. It also highlights the Syrian regime’s failure to register the deaths of the hundreds of thousands of citizens it has killed since the onset of the popular uprising in 2011. The regime’s control over the issuance of death certificates has further compounded the suffering of victims’ families, many of whom are unable to obtain official recognition of their loved ones’ deaths.

The report details the distribution of civilian casualties by the perpetrator party and also documents the use of landmines, which claimed the lives of 114 civilians in 2023, including children and women. Furthermore, the report highlights the deaths of medical personnel and civil defense personnel, underscoring the dangers faced by those providing essential services in the midst of the conflict.

In addition to documenting the loss of civilian lives, the report addresses the deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian objects, as well as indiscriminate bombardment, which has resulted in widespread destruction and further loss of life. The evidence collected by SNHR indicates that war crimes have been committed, and the report calls for accountability for those involved in perpetrating crimes against humanity and war crimes.

It concludes with a series of urgent recommendations, including calls for the UN Security Council to take additional steps, the implementation of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine, and efforts to provide humanitarian assistance in conflict-affected areas. It also emphasizes the need for investigations into the documented cases and the importance of creating maps to identify and clear landmines and cluster munitions in Syrian governorates.


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