International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: Violence against women, bleeding wound in the Syrian conflict

Wednesday 27 November 2013


Date: 25 november 2013

Keywords:Violence against women, Syria , sexual abuses, Conflict

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2013, the Euro Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) releases a new report “Violence against women, a bleeding wound in the Syrian conflict” that sheds light on the increased use of rape, torture and other forms of violence against women in in Syria.

The report describes how abuses against women have now become a deliberate tactic to attack the other party and sexual violence is being used as a weapon of war. The report highlights the need to expose all the different kinds of violence against Syrian women and to advocate for perpetrators to be held accountable in the future, as well as intensifying support and rehabilitation of victims, their families and communities.

The report describes how hundreds of Syrian women were subjected to arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances and have undergone various forms of torture, including sexual abuses, harassment and intimidation within State detention facilities. Some female detainees have been detained for months and deprived of their rights of visits, and the fate of some remains unknown. In addition, many female detainees are facing illegal prosecution on charges of supporting and financing terrorism before courts that fail to meet the basic standards of fair trial.

The report relies on first hand testimonies gathered though interviews with a dozen of victims and witnesses between January 2013 and June 2013, as well as social workers and psychologists working with victims. It is an outcome of an ongoing EMHRN programme aimed at reinforcing networking and capacities of Syrian human rights activists to document and advocate for the respect of human rights conducted in partnership with a group of more than 12 Syrian human rights groups operating inside the country. Prepared by a Syrian researcher with the support of international experts, this report is an example of how human rights activists have overcome serious challenges to document violence against women, and particularly sexual abuses.

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2013 the EMHRN also hails the many national and regional efforts of civil society organizations, in particular women’s rights organizations and networks, to combat violence against women in Syria and in the Euro-Mediterranean region (kindly read the final declaration of the regional conference “ violence against women, crimes and impunity” at

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