Taftanaz

Roula Khalaf

Bullet marks on the wall of a reception room, Taftanaz, Syria, April 2012, following nine extrajudicial executions there © Amnesty International

Bullet marks in a room in Taftanaz, where Amnesty says nine extrajudicial executions took place. Image: Amnesty International

Syrian activists have been reporting the regime’s human rights abuses for the past 15 months. But independent examination of the brutality in Syria has been limited because of the lack of access available for international organisations, and the inability to check the accuracy of the activists’ reports.

Amnesty International has just published a report based on a month-long trip of a researcher through the northern governorates of Idlib and Aleppo. Its findings are that Syrian security forces have been rampaging through towns and villages, summarily executing men, burning homes and at times even the bodies of those killed in cold blood. Many of the abuses, says the report, amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. Read more