Report: Syrian Soldiers Ordered to 'Shoot and Kill' Protesters

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The report also goes into detail about "sweeps" of arbitrary arrests, followed by beatings and torture. Defectors said that they "routinely beat and mistreated detainees and that their commanders ordered, encouraged, or condoned these abuse."

"We were beating people inside the buses, and then at the detention facility at the base," said one defector from Air Force Intelligence Special Operations who said the orders came from a colonel named Suheil Hassan. "We would first put people in the yard, and beat them randomly, without any interrogation," he said. "My heart was boiling inside, but I couldn't show it because I knew what would happen to me."

The Syrian embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Earlier this week, the UN Security Council heard a presentation on Syria that diplomats called the "most horrific briefing" the Council has heard in the last two years on human rights. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who gave the briefing, described "widespread" killing and torture of children by Syrian security forces and put the death toll since the start of the uprising at close to 5,000.

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