Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Beirut (Reuters) - Notice: This story contains graphic details of abuse and torture - Government forces have used rape and other sexual violence against men, women and children during the Syrian uprising, Human Rights Watch said last week. The U.S.-based group said it had recorded 20 incidents from interviews inside and outside Syria with eight victims, including four women, and more than 25 other people with knowledge of sexual abuse - including medical workers, former detainees, army defectors, and women's rights activists. "Sexual violence in detention is one of many horrific weapons in the Syrian government's torture arsenal and Syrian security forces regularly use it to humiliate and degrade detainees with complete impunity," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW. "The assaults are not limited to detention facilities - government forces and pro-government shabiha militia members have also sexually assaulted women and girls during home raids and residential sweeps." Cases were reported all around Syria, but most of all in Homs province, an epicenter of the revolt. 

HRW quoted a man who said he had been held in the Political Security branch in Latakia in a cell with over 70 other people. He said young boys were treated worse than adults, brought back to the cell raped and with their fingernails pulled out. "One boy came into the cell bleeding from behind. He couldn't walk. It was something they just did to the boys. We would cry for them," the man said. HRW said many of the assaults were in circumstances in which commanding officers knew or should have known the crimes, such as electric shocks to genitalia, were taking place. In another face-to-face interview a woman from the Karm al-Zeitoun neighborhood of Homs city which was overrun by Assad's troops said she heard security forces and shabiha militia rape her neighbors while she hid in her apartment in March. "I could hear one girl fighting with one of (the men)... She pushed him and he shot her in the head," HRW quoted the woman as saying. She said three girls, the youngest aged 12, were then raped. After the men left the woman went next door. "The scene on the inside was unreal. The 12-year-old was lying on the ground, blood to her knees... More than one person had raped the 12-year-old... She was torn the length of a forefinger. I will never go back there. It comes to me. I see it in my dreams and I just cry."

Syrian government forces have used sexual violence to torture men, women, and boys detained during the current conflict. Sexual abuse in detention, include rape, penetration with objects, sexual groping, prolonged forced nudity, and electroshock and beatings to genitalia. Witnesses and victims told that soldiers and pro-government armed militias have sexually abused women and girls as young as 12 during home raids and military sweeps of residential areas. Without spiritual progress, men forget about moral or ethical values and become much worse than fierce beasts.

Without spiritual advancement, individually and socially, human society becomes like a society of polished animals. We may have so much technology, but we still act and fight on the same order as cats and dogs. But human life is meant for a much higher purpose. Human life is the doorway to other realms of existence, the topmost being the spiritual realm. In order to rise above "animal vision," we have to become spiritually aware and see beyond the body and its designations, which is merely a temporary covering of the soul, like a shirt or coat. ... As long as people's consciousness is centered around their temporary bodily identity, throughout the world you will continue to find quarrels, fights, riots, wars, the tragedy of people starving in Africa and other places because of the politics, and everything else that motivates people to act on the bodily platform because of the superficial differences between races, religions, cultures, sexes, ideals, or political viewpoints.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
"Spiritual Enlightenment: A Cure for Social Ills"  -

No comments: