SNHR Documented the Deaths of 92 Civilians in June 2022, Including 19 children, 16 Women, and Six Victims Who Died Due to Torture
Paris – The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) announced in its monthly report released today that extrajudicial killing claimed the lives of 568 civilians in Syria in the first half of 2022, noting that 92 civilians were documented killed in June 2022, including 19 children, 16 women, and six victims who died due to torture.
The 23-page report states that the crime of murder has become widespread and systematic, mainly at the hands of Syrian regime forces and affiliated militias, adding that the entry of several parties into the Syrian conflict has increased the importance and complexity of documenting the victims killed in Syria.
The report notes that since 2011, the SNHR has created complex electronic programs to archive and categorize the victims’ data, enabling the SNHR to catalogue victims according to the gender and location where each was killed, the governorate from which each victim originally came, and the party responsible for the killing, and to make comparisons between these parties, and identify the governorates which lost the largest proportion of residents. The report catalogues the death toll of victims according to the governorate in which they were killed, rather than by the governorate they originally came from.
This report details the death toll of victims documented killed by the parties to the conflict and the controlling forces in Syria in June and the first half of 2022, particularly focusing on the victims amongst children and women, and those who died due to torture.
As the report explains, the statistics provided for the death toll of victims include those related to extrajudicial killings by the controlling forces in each area which occurred as a violation of both International Human Rights Law or International Humanitarian Law, and do not include deaths arising from natural causes or those caused by disputes between individual members of society.
The report draws upon the ongoing daily monitoring of news and developments, and on an extensive network of relations with various sources, in addition to analyzing a large number of photographs and videos.
The report notes that the continuation of the killings in various regions and in various forms in June confirms that Syria is one of the worst, if not the worst, country in the world for deaths among citizens due to extrajudicial killings, including killings under torture.
The report documents the deaths of 568 civilians at the hands of the parties to the conflict and the controlling forces in Syria in the first half of 2022, including 115 children and 53 women (adult female). This figure is broken down according to the perpetrators in each case, with 124 of the civilians, including 12 children and four women, killed at the hands of Syrian regime forces, while three civilians, including two children and one woman, were killed at the hands of Russian forces, eight civilians were killed at the hands of ISIS, and nine civilians, including two children and one woman, were killed by Hay’at Tahrir al Sham.
The report also documents the deaths of 12 civilians, including two children and two women, at the hands of all Armed Opposition factions/Syrian National Army, while Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces killed 39 civilians, including four children and two women. The report also documents 373 civilians, including 93 children and 43 women, killed at the hands of other parties.
As the report reveals, Daraa governorate saw the largest death toll compared to other Syrian governorates in the first half of 2022, accounting for 23% of the total death toll, followed by Aleppo, accounting for 16%, then Idlib and Damascus Suburbs with approximately 14% and 13% respectively.
As the report explains, the SNHR’s Victim Documentation team documented the deaths of 92 civilians, including 19 children and 16 women (adult female) in June. This figure is broken down according to the perpetrators in each case, with 15 of the civilian victims, including one woman, killed at the hands of Syrian regime forces, and one civilian killed at the hand of all Armed Opposition factions/Syrian National Army. In addition, SNHR also documented the deaths of 12 civilians, including three children and one woman, killed at the hands of Syrian Democratic Forces, and 64 civilians, including 16 children and 14 women, killed at the hands of other parties.
The report notes that among the victims documented are five of the medical personnel who were killed in the first half of 2022, all at the hands of other parties. The report further reveals that the SNHR’s working team documented 101 individuals who died due to torture in the first half of 2022, including one woman; 90 of these victims, including one woman, died at the hands of Syrian regime forces, while Hay’at Tahrir al Sham killed one individual. Meanwhile, one other was killed by all Armed Opposition factions/Syrian National Army, and nine by Syrian Democratic Forces. According to the report, six individuals were documented as being killed as a result of torture in June.
The report also documents six massacres in the first half of 2022, using the term ‘massacre’ to refer to any attack that caused the death of at least five peaceful individuals in the same incident. According to this definition, the report reveals that in the first half of 2022 one massacre was committed by Syrian regime forces, one by ISIS, and four by other parties. The report also documents one massacre in June 2022, perpetrated by other parties, resulting in the deaths of 10 civilians, including four children and four women.
The report calls on the UN Security Council to take additional steps following its adoption of Resolution 2254, and stresses the importance of referring the Syrian case to the International Criminal Court, adding that all those who are responsible should be held accountable including the Russian regime whose involvement in war crimes has been repeatedly proven.
The report also requests that all relevant United Nations agencies make greater efforts to provide food, medical and humanitarian assistance in areas where fighting has ceased, and in internally displaced persons’ camps, and to follow up with those States that have pledged voluntary contributions.
The report calls for the implementation of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine (R2P) after all political channels have proved fruitless throughout all the agreements reached, the Cessation of Hostilities statements, and Astana agreements that followed, stressing the need to resort to Chapter VII, and to implement the norm of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly.
The report further recommends that the international community should work to launch projects to create maps revealing the locations of landmines and cluster munitions in all Syrian governorates. This would facilitate the process of clearing them and educating the population about their locations.
The report additionally calls on the Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) to launch investigations into the cases included in this report and previous reports, and confirms the SNHR’s willingness to cooperate and provide further evidence and data, as well as calling them on to focus on the issue of landmines and cluster munitions within the next report.
The report also stresses that the Syrian regime must stop the indiscriminate shelling and targeting of residential areas, hospitals, schools and markets, as well as ending its acts of torture that have caused the deaths of thousands of Syrian citizens in detention centers, and complying with UN Security Council resolutions and customary humanitarian law.
The report stresses that the states supporting the SDF should cease all forms of support until the SDF commits itself to complying with the rules of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
The report calls on the Armed Opposition and Syrian National Army to ensure the protection of civilians in all areas under their control, as well as calling on them to take care to distinguish between civilians and military targets and to cease any indiscriminate attacks.
Lastly, the report calls on all the parties to the conflict to provide detailed maps of the locations where they have planted landmines, especially civilian sites or areas near residential communities, as well as making several additional recommendations.