October 10, 2013
During the past few months, the Assad regime’s media has broadcasted several televised testimonies of minors admitting to having carried out shocking and improbable crimes. The Assad regime, thus, continues to breach international agreements related to the rights of children; in particular the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Assad’s regime of terrorism has deliberately and inhumanly accused minors on Syrian state television of committing honor crimes and other serious crimes and has forced these children to confess on television. The boy, Shabaan Hamida, less than 13 years old, was accused of killing 10 soldiers, 13 civilians, and 9 armed men. The girl, Rawan Qaddah, who was less than 15 years old when captured, was accused of what the regime coined as “sexual jihad,” as was the young girl, Sarah al-Alaow, who is less than 13 years old.
The Syrian Coalition urges the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, which works to protect children’s rights and ensure their development and protection, to take the necessary measures to ensure full protection for Syrian children; including reporting these crimes to the UN Security Council and other international organizations who can help protect Syrian children from the Assad regime’s flagrant violations.
Assad’s forces have tortured, maimed, and burned children alive in villages and towns across Syria. They have used children as human shields. Let us not forget what took place in Banias, Khanaser, Rassim al-Nafil, Houla, Aqrab, Treymsah, Hilfaya, and many other areas across Syria where children were targeted and massacred. Let us not forget Hamza al-Khatib and other children who died under horrific torture in 2011.
The Assad regime has devastated childhood in Syria during the past two and a half years. The free world must realize the Assad regime will continue to infringe on international humanitarian law if not stopped. The international community must live up to its responsibilities towards protecting Syrian children and people from the horrors of Assad’s killing machine.
We ask for Mercy for our martyrs, health for our wounded, and freedom for our detainees.
Long live Syria and its people, free and with honor.