By Oliver Holmes. BEIRUT Reuters - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad declared on Tuesday that his country was at war and ordered his new government to spare no effort to achieve victory, as the worst fighting of the month conflict reached the outskirts of the capital. Video published by activists recorded heavy gunfire and explosions in suburbs of Damascus. A trail of fresh blood on a sidewalk in the suburb of Qudsiya led into a building where one casualty was taken. A naked man writhed in pain, his body pierced by shrapnel. The declaration that Syria is at war marks a change of rhetoric from Assad, who had long dismissed the uprising against him as the work of scattered militants funded from abroad.
The study was based on information mainly gathered in late and provided by several dozen informants and through discussions with around refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. It found that sexual violence towards boys and men is much more common than had been believed. The report found that children and elderly men were also victims, but that gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals were particularly vulnerable.
A syrian refugee balances life in germany with chaos at home
Victims have accused armed groups within Syria of carrying out mass rapes, with sexual violence often occurring in detention or prison facilities. One focus group of refugee women in Jordan estimated that between percent of the adult men in their community were victims of sexual violence while in detention in Syria.
Why should he? We know that everyone in jail is raped — it is normal.
Numerous individuals have described shocking torture while in detention, including weapons being used as tools of rape. A gay refugee called Tarek recalled his experience in the report:. We were 80 persons in one cell with no light for 30 days.
We were all naked. At night, they hung us from our hands — they tortured us with electricity to the genitals.
However, outside Syria, there is a danger of opportunistic abuse in refugee camps or through informal employment opportunities in countries of refuge. The report noted that there is concern that the high rate of child labor among Syrian refugee boys, which, for example, is 94 percent in Jordan, le to sexual exploitation and rape. Refugee boys and men have reported that some employers refuse to pay wages until sexual acts are performed.
It has also been found that boys in countries of refuge are often targeted by older youths, with s of rape occurring in refugee communities on a daily basis. The report has called for further research to be carried out in this area. But in the meantime, there have been several recommendations, such as improving survivor care, increasing awareness among humanitarian workers and strengthening strategies for sexual violence prevention.
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