In The Scales: Sexual Assaults in Syria

In The Scales: Sexual Assaults in Syria
Investigations | 17 May 2015

Nowadays, Syria has turned into a jungle. he who holds a weapon is master. And with the ubiquity of all types of weapons, violationsincluding sexualabound.

"I was afraid, my dream was to see Syria find its rightful place among the ranks of civilized nations, before finding myself in a small room in one of Syria's security branches. I was afraid of being subjected to beatings, violence, or murder. I was also afraid of being sexually assaulted."

This is an excerpt of a conversation between a Syrian girl recently released from prison, in which she tells her story to her friend—on condition of anonimity, for obvious reasons of her security.

The girl was lucky enough to escape sexual assaultwhich is more than she can say about other women.

Sexual assault may vary from the simple act of being forced to utter words of sexual profanity; to watching sexual acts being committed; to artful and innovative forms of sexual torture; leading all the way to rape.

Sexual assault is one of the many techniques of armed conflict. it aims to achieve political and militarynot merely sexual—objectives. It has been used for ethnic cleansing, and the displacement of populations in many wars. It is an act that affects men, children and women; not only women, also previously believed.

Sexual assault, in general, leaves serious physical and psychological effects on all its victims.

A United Nations' [UN] report scored 19 armed conflict areas around the world in which sexual assault is found. Yet, the UN had been unable to document many other cases of sexual assault that had occurred in previous conflict zones, until after a long period of time.

In Syria, there are hundreds of female abductees belonging to religious minorities in the hands of opposition factions. There also are thousands of women abducted by the Syrian [regime's] security services. The discrepancy in the numbers between both sides, does not reduce or increases.

This episode of Bil Mizan [in the Scales], a joint program between Radio Netherlands and Radio Rozana, in cooperation with the Syrian Center for Justice and Accountability; will discuss the issue of sexual assault in Syria with Professor Layla Alodat, specialized in international law of armed conflict.

To listen to the full episode, follow the link:

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