Report: rape used as weapon of war against Syria women
Syrian conflict has created “created a context ripe for violence against women, including sexual violence”
Women in Syria have been raped in detention, used as human shields during military operations and kidnapped to pressure and humiliate family members, a new report said on Monday.
“Abuses against women (have been used as a) deliberate tactic to defeat the other party from a symbolic and psychological perspective, making women desirable targets as the conflict rages on,” said the report published by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network.
Issued on International Day to End Violence Against Women, the report said Syria’s brutal war “created a context ripe for violence against women, including sexual violence.”
The report said rape was documented in seven provinces, including Damascus, mostly “during governmental raids, at checkpoints and within detention facilities.”
It quotes a woman identified as Aida, a 19-year-old from Tartus on Syria’s coast, whose family is close to the anti-regime Muslim Brotherhood.
She was detained between October 2012-January 2013 and during that time was raped on two separate occasions, including by three soldiers the day before a court hearing.
“The interrogator left me in the room and came back with three personnel who took turns raping me. I fiercely resisted the first but when the second started, I became more terrified and couldn’t resist,” she is quoted as saying.
“When the third started, I totally collapsed. I was bleeding all the time. As the last one finished, I fell on the ground. Ten minutes later, the prison doctor came in and took me to the bathroom where he gave me an injection to enable me to stand before the judge,” she said.
The report says rape has often been used by regime forces as a weapon during military operations.
It cites a case in central Homs province, where a nine-year-old girl was raped in front of her family by government troops in the Baba Amr district in March 2012.
The report warns of the difficulties documenting rape because of the stigma attached to sexual violence.
“Many victims of sexual violence -- if not most of them -- chose or were forced to leave their homeland, carrying with them the physical and (psychological) marks to their country of asylum,” it said.
The watchdog also documents the use of women as human shields, and the “growing phenomenon” of women being kidnapped by both the regime and opposition forces.
It said women were often abducted for use in prisoner exchanges or “to pressure their male relatives to surrender,” the group said.
The report cites the Syrian Network for Human Rights as saying that between December and May 2012, it documented the cases of 125 women and two children being taken hostages in this way.
Syria’s war has killed more than 120,000 people and forced millions more to flee.
Of those who have become refugees, three quarters are women and children, the United Nations says.
Syrians gang-rape teenage girl in Jordan refugee campThree Syrian men have gang-raped a 14-year-old girl in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, a government official said on Tuesday. “Police have ... Middle East
‘It is my fault’ satirical video on rape in India goes viralA video by a group of comedians that lampoons controversial comments by public figures after the gang-rape of a student in New Delhi last December has ... Variety
Protesters rally over rape of five-year-old girl in PakistanRights campaigners staged protest rallies across Pakistan on Sunday against the rape of a five-year old girl in the eastern city of Lahore whose ... Asia
Young Indian journalist gang raped in MumbaiA 22-year-old photojournalist was gang raped while her male colleague was tied up and beaten in an isolated, overgrown corner of India’s ... Media
Janet Jackson’s husband fires employee after she reported rapeJanet Jackson’s Qatari husband has allegedly fired an employee from his firm soon after she reported being raped in a Dubai hotel, ... Middle East
Angelina Jolie urges U.N. Security Council to act on war zone rapeActress Angelina Jolie urged the U.N. Security Council on Monday to make dealing with war zone rape a top priority as she shared stories of survivors ... Perspective
India police say three held over US tourist gang-rapeIndian police arrested three men Thursday over the gang-rape of a US tourist who was attacked after she hitched a ride in a truck, an officer told AFP ... Asia
Video: Egyptian police officer threatens citizen with rapeEgyptian activists have posted a video online that depicts an Egyptian police officer attempting to attack a detained citizen and threatening him with ... Middle East
U.N. says girls as young as 6 raped by Congo troopsCongolese troops fleeing the M23 rebels last November raped at least 97 women and 33 girls, some as young as 6, a U.N. report released Wednesday said. ... Africa