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‘Save The Children’ Releases Disturbing Report About Alleged Atrocities Against Children Caught Up I
September 25, 2012
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Save-The-Children-Releases-Disturbing-Report-About-Alleged-Atrocities-Against-Children-Caught-Up-In-Syrias-Civil-War-feature.jpg

As much as it's reported in the media, it's often difficult to get a clear picture of how horrific the civil war in Syria has become.

Today, the British charity 'Save The Children' released a report called 'Untold Atrocities: The Stories of Syria's Children.'

And the details are extremely disturbing, as captured in a 'Save The Children' slideshow that you can see here.

The report outlines 18 first-hand accounts from Syrian refugee children who managed to escape the violence.

In one case, a 15-year-old boy said he was taken to the local school with about 100 other kids, and held there for a week with no food or water for two days.

He said he was hanged from the ceiling by his wrists with his feet off of the ground, and soldiers put out their cigarettes on his skin, and beat him.

"My father was actually the principal there," he said. "When I realized that was where we were going, I was so sad, I wanted to cry."

Others were allegedly electrocuted. "I don't think there was a reason - it depended what mood these men were in," he said. "They showed no sympathy, no mercy."

In another case, a 16-year-old boy, who was held by government soldiers, told the story of a 6-year-old boy whose father was apparently wanted by President Bashar Assad's regime.

He said the little boy was tortured and given nothing to eat or drink for three days, then died.

"He was terrified all the time. They treated his body as though he was a dog. I don't think I'll ever be OK again," the 16-year-old said.

And in another case, a boy watched as his family members were hit by a rocket at a funeral procession.

The boy, now living in a refugee camp in Jordan, told 'Save The Children' "I found body parts all over each other. Dogs were eating the dead bodies for two days after the massacre."

He also said government soldiers used children as human shields, although he didn't describe any specific incident.

There are also allegations that Assad's forces have abducted, tortured and even killed children to punish their parents.

'Save The Children' didn't say when or where any of the alleged atrocities occurred, in order to protect the children and not identify them.

But the charity says the stories are consistent with other accounts gathered by the UN and other human rights groups.

"Every crime against children must be recorded to send a clear message to all sides in the conflict that these atrocities will not be tolerated," the group said.

'Save The Children' is calling on the UN to put more officials on the ground to do a better job monitoring and reporting any abuse against children, so that those responsible are held accountable.

The charity says it's working to help children who are traumatized. But over the long haul, many will need special care to recover from what they've seen and experienced.

Syria's embassy in Amman could not be reached for comment.

In all, human rights groups estimate some 30,000 people have been killed in the war, nearly 2,000 of them children.

Last month, the UN Security Council decided to end an observer mission that was supposed to monitor a ceasefire that never actually happened.

Save-The-Children-Releases-Disturbing-Report-About-Alleged-Atrocities-Against-Children-Caught-Up-In-Syrias-Civil-War-feature2.jpg Meantime, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to the UN General Assembly today. With respect to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Obama said...

"The future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people. If there is a cause that cries out for protest in the world today, it is a regime that tortures children and shoots rockets at apartment buildings. And we must remain engaged to assure that what began with citizens demanding their rights does not end in a cycle of sectarian violence."

Obama also took aim at Iran saying "Time and again, it has failed to take the opportunity to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful, and to meet its obligations to the United Nations.

"Let me be clear: America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so," Obama said.

"But that time is not unlimited .... And that is why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

Here's Obama's speech.

Related Stories:
The Mission Ends: UN Monitors Leave Syria

British Artist Captures Life During Syria's Civil War Through Watercolour Sketches

Infographic: Mapping The Death Toll In Syria

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