The United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, tells Channel 4 News that “horrible acts of torture” are taking place in hospitals in the cities of Homs, Deraa and Hama.
Ms Pillay told Channel 4 News that the video evidence of torture in Syrian hospitals, as seen in Jonathan Miller’s report, was backed up by the United Nations’ own evidence.
“It accords with what the commission of inquiry has produced. Torture in hospitals, particularly the military hospitals. This video is about Homs, but there is also evidence of such torture in hospitals in Hama and Deraa as well.
“Chaining to beds, electrocution, stripping of male patients. I’m particularly disturbed by the widespread use of sexual torture on men and boys, the electrocution of genitals. Just horrible, horrible acts of torture.”
Ms Pillay expressed her frustration at the ongoing bloodshed across the country as international powers fail to stop the violence.
“I have been saying war crimes are being committed and should be investigated since April last year.
Torture in hopsitals, particularly the military hospitals. This video is about Homs, but there is also evidendce of such torture in hositals in Hama and Deraa as well. Chaining to beds, electrocution, stripping of male patients. I’m particularly disturbed by the widespread use of sexual torture. -Navi Pillay, United Nations high commissioner for human rights
“The slaughter of civilians, ordinary people’s throats being cut. Thousands are fleeing Homs and other cities for safety. There is mounting evidence which is making me more concerned.”
Ms Pillay described the history of torture used against dissenters as “widespread and routine” but warned that it was getting “much worse, with civilians being targeted”.
UN humitarian affairs chief Valerie Amos has finally been granted access to Syria’s besieged towns. Ms Amos said she plans to be in Syria from Wednesday to Friday.
“As requested by the secretary-general (Ban Ki-moon), my aim is to urge all parties to allow unhindered access for humanitarian relief workers so that they can evacuate the wounded and deliver essential supplies,” she said in a statement.
Read more: The horror in Homs
Syrian security forces have blocked aid convoys from reaching the Homs district of Baba Amr for several days.
Ms Pillay told Channel 4 News that all states must continue to work together to stop the ongoing atrocities.
“Action can only come when states act collectively,” she said. Torture is absolutely prohibited. There are no circumstances that allow torture. Despite 11 months of pressure at the highest level, there is no sign that the Syrian government has stopped the killings, the torture and rapes.”
Read more: 'It's a massacre and the world sits by and watches'