NPR : News

Filed Under:

In Syria: 2,600 Dead So Far, U.N. Official Says

At least 2,600 people have been killed in Syria since the start of protests there in mid-March, the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights reported today.

Navi Pillay said in Geneva that the estimate is based on information from "reliable sources on the ground."

She also said, as The Associated Press adds, "that her office continues to be denied access to Syria by the government of President Bashar Assad."

And, the wire service reports:

"Pillay told reporters after her speech that she was shocked by the continued suppression of dissent in the Middle East nation.

" 'The situation in Syria is still dire and I really regret that the Syrian government has not let in my assessment team,' she said."

Last week on Talk of the Nation, Syria's ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, said it is "totally untrue" that the Assad regime is waging war against its own people. He held to the regime's position that it is battling extremists:

"What is happening in Syria is that extreme fundamentalist Muslims are waging a war of insurgency. They have committed atrocities and extreme violence, and it's the duty of any government in the whole world, including that of the United States, towards its citizens, peaceful citizens to protect them. The war in Syria is a war between the Syrian army and the Syrian police and militant, heavily armed insurgents who have committed atrocities and continue to commit atrocities right now as we talk, particularly in Homs."

But activists, human rights groups and a former attorney general in Syria's Hama province tell a much different story.

As NPR's Kelly McEvers previously reported, Adnan Mohammad al-Bakkour, that official, "says he has detailed information on the deaths of scores of anti-government protesters on a single day." And, "Bakkour says he also knows about more than 400 protesters who were killed by security forces and left in mass graves in public parks. He says he was asked to prepare a fabricated report saying the victims were killed by armed gangs."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Remembering Robert Swanson, Advertising's 'King Of Jingles'

Robert Swanson revolutionized American advertising and wrote some of the most memorable ad jingles of the 1950s and '60s for products ranging from Campbell's Soup to Pall Mall cigarettes. He died at 95 July 17 at his home in Phoenix, Ariz.
NPR

More Than Just Saying 'Cheese,' Hundreds Sit Test To Become Official Experts

The American Cheese Society will begin proctoring its next Certified Cheese Professional Exam in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, during the group's annual conference.
WAMU 88.5

Democratic National Convention Day Two: Uniting The Party

An update on day two of the Democratic convention: Bill Clinton takes the stage and ongoing efforts by party leaders to build unity.

WAMU 88.5

How To Help Teens And Children Fight 'Tech Addiction'

Many parents and therapists say obsessive internet use is a very real problem for some teens and children. But the term “internet addiction” is controversial and not officially recognized as a disorder. How to help kids who compulsively use computers and mobile technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.