Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Bodies in Syria river likely killed in govt areas

04 June 2013, 15:20

Beirut - The bodies of 147 men pulled out of a river in Aleppo between January and March were "probably" executed in government-controlled areas of Syria's main northern city, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.

HRW said it had visited the war-torn city and interviewed the residents and activists who found the bodies, a forensics expert and 18 of the bereaved families.

The New York-based watchdog also reviewed 350 photographs and videos of the victims as part of their investigation.

"Many of the victims bore signs of having been detained and then executed, such as hands tied behind their back, gunshot wounds to their head, and tape across their mouth," the report said.

HRW said that, although it has yet to finish its investigation into who carried out the killings, the location the bodies were found in and the victims' last reported whereabouts suggested they were killed in government-controlled areas.

"The bodies floating down Aleppo's river tell a grisly tale," HRW researcher Ole Solvang said.

Scene of intense fighting

"It's hard to see how 147 people could have been executed and their bodies flung in the river in government-controlled territory, as the evidence indicates, without the knowledge of government forces operating in the area," he added.

Activists in the area told HRW researchers that they had fished 230 bodies out of the river between 29 January and 14 March, but the rights group itself was able to identify 147 victims, all male and aged between 11 and 64.

Aleppo has been the scene of intense fighting since rebels seized a swathe of districts in July last year.

The river, which runs from north to south, crosses the battle lines that divide the government-controlled northwest from the rebel-held southeast.

In January, after the first bodies were found, the official SANA news agency reported that the foreign ministry had written to the UN accusing al-Qaeda loyalists of the al-Nusra Front of carrying out the killings.

HRW said the report gave no other explanation for the allegation than that the bodies were recovered in rebel-controlled areas.

"These executions underline the urgent need for objective and impartial investigations," Solvang said.

"The UN Security Council should refer Syria to the International Criminal Court and demand that the Syrian government provides the UN Commission of Inquiry access to the country."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...