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Syria Has a Massive Rape Crisis

Home / Human Rights / Syria Has a Massive Rape Crisis

All across the war-torn country, regime soldiers are said to be sexually violating women and men from the opposition, destroying families and, in some cases, taking lives.

Lauren Wolfe

Apr 3 2013, 7:30 AM ET

refugees-Zataari

Syrian refugees carry their children in the Al- Zaatri refugee camp, in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria on February 12, 2013. (Muhammad Hamed/Reuters)

One day in the fall of 2012, Syrian government troops brought a young Free Syrian Army soldier’s fiancée, sisters, mother, and female neighbors to the Syrian prison in which he was being held. One by one, he said, they were raped in front of him.

The 18-year-old had been an FSA soldier for less than a month when he was picked up. Crying uncontrollably as he recounted his torture while in detention to a psychiatrist named Yassar Kanawati, he said he suffers from a spinal injury inflicted by his captors. The other men detained with him were all raped, he told the doctor. When Kanawati asked if he, too, was raped, he went silent.

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