Hague appalled at Syria barbarism

By Georgie Keate

Foreign secretary William Hague has vowed to bring justice to Syria after the publication of a report exposing a state policy of torture in over 27 detention centres.

Research by Human Rights Watch based on more than 200 interviews with defectors and detainees since March last year has documented torture methods used by Syrian intelligence agencies.

"Those responsible for human rights violations should not delude themselves: we and our international partners will do everything to ensure they face justice," Mr Hague said today.

"Where there is evidence for acts of violence and repression, the UK with work with EU partners to impose sanctions on them."

The human rights group have argued that the Syrian state's use of torture constitutes "a crime against humanity". As a result, they have asked the UN security council to take the issue to the international criminal court and to impose sanctions against named officials in the report.

The report, Torture Archipelago, includes descriptions of torture techniques told by victims, video accounts and maps of detention centres all over the country.

Torture methods included beatings, electric shocks, acid burnings, mock exactions, sexual assault and pulling of fingernails.

Mr Hague said that the report should act as a "clear warning" to those named in the report that there is "no hiding place for them".

"We will continue to focus attention on Syria and work to bring an end to the violence," he added.