Syria using rape as weapon against opposition women and men
Note: This article contains disturbing content that may be triggering for some readers.
By Ruth Sherlock
In the jails and interrogation centres of secret police, prisoners have been brutalised, either at the hands of officers, or more often with a bottle or other utensil.
"In detention facilities rape is clearly used as a form of torture to humiliate and degrade people, and to bring back the wall of fear," said Nadim Khoury, Deputy Director for the Middle East at Human Rights Watch.
The claims come as Britain prepares to launch a campaign against rape as a weapon of war that will be the centrepiece of its presidency of the G8 countries next year.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, will today recruit the Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie to highlight the issue at a meeting at the Foreign Office.
He has ordered the establishment of a special diplomatic team to document and help ensure the prosecution of sexual war crimes in conflict zones to support the initiative.
Meanwhile refugees fleeing Syriahave told the Telegraph that regime militia are using rape and the threat of it to scare the opposition.