Details of a massive human rights crisis are beginning to emerge from Syria in the face of a crumbling government regime, specifically that of sexual violence against women. The Atlantic has estimated that about 90 percent of rape during the ongoing conflict has been committed by governmental forces, possibly under direction from higher powers. This is likely due to the fact that regime troops have used rape as a punishment for detainees in their military prisons, often times using it as leverage to extract punishment. Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide drew parallels to this injustice in an electrifying address to the United Nations in September of last year with similar atrocities in the Bosnian civil war in the mid ’90s and the Rwandan Genocide around the same time. It is even possible that the situation could be much worse that imagined due to the unwillingness of some of the victims to come forward publicly out of fear of retaliatory violence against them or their families. The true scope of the crisis may never be fully realized.
Bosnian Civil War, circa ~1996