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Syria: The real figure of the death toll, unknown

Total number of people killed during the first three years probably underestimated

An updated analysis carried out by data specialists on behalf of the UN Human Rights Office has led to the compilation of a list of 191,369 cases of individuals reported killed in Syria between March 2011 and the end of April 2014, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay announced Friday.”

'With additional killings reported from earlier periods, in addition to the new killings that have taken place, the total is more than double the number documented a year ago. Nevertheless, as the report explains, tragically it is probably an underestimate of the real total number of people killed during the first three years of this murderous conflict,' Pillay said.”

The statistical analysts who produced all three UN reports stressed that: 'The enumeration is not the complete number of conflict-related killings in Syria.' The report says that, despite the possibility of a small number of duplicate or erroneously reported deaths being included, this total is likely to underestimate the actual number of killings. This conclusion is based on the fact that 51,953 reported killings containing insufficient information were excluded from the analysis, and that there is a strong likelihood that a significant number of killings may not have been reported at all by any of the five sources.

The greatest number of documented killings was recorded in the Governorate of Rural Damascus (39,393), with the next highest numbers recorded in Aleppo (31,932), Homs (28,186), Idlib (20,040), Daraa (18,539) and Hama (14,690).”

The killings of 8,803 minors, including 2,165 children under ten years old, have been documented so far and the real total is likely to be higher, given that in 83.8 percent of cases, the victim’s ages have not so far been recorded.

'It is scandalous that the predicament of the injured, displaced, the detained, and the relatives of all those who have been killed or are missing is no longer attracting much attention, despite the enormity of their suffering,' Pillay said. 'It is a real indictment of the age we live in that not only has this been allowed to continue so long, with no end in sight, but it is also now impacting horrendously on hundreds of thousands of other people across the border in northern Iraq, and the violence has also spilled over into Lebanon.'”

'The killers, destroyers and torturers in Syria have been empowered and emboldened by the international paralysis,' the High Commissioner said. 'There are serious allegations that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed time and time again with total impunity, yet the Security Council has failed to refer the case of Syria to the International Criminal Court, where it clearly belongs. It is essential Governments take serious measures to halt the fighting and deter the crimes, and above all stop fuelling this monumental, and wholly avoidable, human catastrophe through the provision of arms and other military supplies.'”

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