The conflict in Syria is the “worst man-made disaster the world has seen since World War II,” the United Nations human rights chief said Tuesday, calling for an end to all tortures, executions and unfair trials, and at the very least, for the names and localities of people held in detention or information about where they are buried.
“Today, in a sense the entire country has become a torture-chamber: a place of savage horror and absolute injustice,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told a high-level panel discussion at the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in Syria, reports a UN press release.
The entire conflict is “this immense tidal wave of bloodshed and atrocity,” Zeid said, adding that countless people in Syria are suffering arbitrary detention, torture, kidnapping, and enforced disappearance.
The Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) has been refused access to the country, and no international human rights observers are admitted to check on sites where “very probably tens of thousands of people are currently held,” the UN press release quoted Zeid as saying.
As the conflict in Syria is entering its seventh year, UN figures put the number of displaced people at nearly 6.3 million people. An additional 4.9 million people – mostly women and children – were forced to seek refuge since 2011, according to the UN.