UN accuses Syrian army of 'using children as human shields' to deter opposition attacks
Damascus, June 12 (ANI): Syrian troops are using children as human shields and forcing them to ride on top of government tanks to deter opposition attacks, a UN report has revealed.
The report said children, as old as nine years, were being tortured in detention, forced to fight, made victims of sexual violence and executed, Telegraph.co.uk reports.
The UN's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict named Syria as one of the worst offenders on its annual 'list of shame' of conflict countries.
"In almost all recorded cases, children were among the victims of military operations by government forces, including the Syrian armed forces, the intelligence forces and the shabiha militia, in their ongoing conflict with the opposition, including the Free Syrian Army," the report stated.
Human rights groups estimate that about 1,200 children have died during the 15-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
"Rarely, have I seen such brutality against children as in Syria, where girls and boys are detained, tortured, executed, and used as human shields," Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN special representative for children in armed conflict, said.
The children were "used by soldiers and militia members as human shields, placing them in front of the windows of buses carrying military personnel into the raid on the village," the report revealed.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the report had revealed one of many "grave violations" against children.
"Most child victims of torture described being beaten, blindfolded, subjected to stress positions, whipped with heavy electrical cables, scarred by cigarette burns and, in one recorded case, subjected to electrical shock to the genitals," the UN report revealed. (ANI)
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