We have empathized repeatedly that enlisting children in political conflicts, whether armed or other and whatever the objectives are, is violation of the children's rights to stable, healthy and intact growth that leads to severe consequences including making these children direct victims of these conflicts, either by killing them, torturing them or distorting their personalities.

Arresting the children in Daraa, for writing anti-regime graffiti as spontaneous reaction of the revolutions in the region, is one of the reasons of the events taking place in Daraa. What results killing many people, raising the violence level seriously and threatening the stability of Syria seriously.
But what was found out after releasing the children the fact that they weren't arrested in inhuman conditions only, but they also have been subjected to serve torture as their pictures show.
There are talks going on about sexual harassments the children have faced during detention, but their families kept silent because they were threatened by terrible consequences if they speak out about what happened with their children. As a result, more congestion is grown that could be treated aggressively.
The condemnation by "Syrian Women Observatory" of violence in all its forms is not enough to condemn this barbaric behavior, which violates the Syrian constitution, all Syrian laws, the Convention against Torture signed by Syria, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child ratified by Syria! Apart from its incompatibility with the minimum humanitarian considerations!
The detention of children in inappropriate places is in itself a violation of their rights, then what about suffering from this horrible torture?! Whoever takes part in this heinous act must be punished, even they must be judged in public court. Not only to make the children (who are the future men of Syria) themselves feel that their dignity cannot be wasted this way without punishing those who violated them, but also for all Syrian men, women and children.
Syria is waiting for that day to take a radical action that resolves the crisis situation and not superficial or marginal decisions. Such actions would be fundamental and critical in terms of citizenship, especially women's citizenship, and in securing the rights of the child.
The facts of releasing the children and sacking the governor of Daraa in addition to the promises of punishing people who are responsible for these events are very important steps actually, but still they aren't enough with respect to what the children have faced. A practical and actual step is needed to deter those who acts violently.
This can be achieved only through immediate, urgent, transparent and just investigation held by the Syrian government itself without any delay. The punishment must be in public and it must be broadcasted to have value.
It's all Syrians' right, especially the children's parents, to punish all the people involved in violation of the sanctity of childhood severely without any immunity for them.
As we disclose this cause today, we strongly affirm our rejection of any act of violence against children by their parents or anyone else, we reject violence by Syrian authorities as well. We also call on parents to resort to judiciary to prove the torture their children faced and to prosecute the criminals. We reveal this cause to say that ignoring its importance isn't the solution, instead the key is to face it bravely and courageously, and to handle the responsibilities arising therefrom.
Adapting this attitude is important, in particular in term of establishment an effective step in laying the foundations for Syria that would no longer tolerate with violence whoever commits it, and to deliver a clear message saying that torture is no longer allowed under any pretext.
Again, getting children involved in political conflicts is hideous act that leads to disasters would affect the children themselves. We therefore call on everyone to keep children away from adults' conflicts, and avoid invoking by goals as they were justification for violation of their childhood.
At the same time, "Syrian Women Observatory" calls to stop all forms of violence immediately. In particular, the violence held by Syrian authorities since they are responsible for Syrians' safety, and they must be concerned with finding proper ways and means to handle problems and crisis. Syrian authorities are capable to do that whenever they determine and decide.

By Bassam AlKAdi, the editorial, 25/3/2011, Everyone responsible for torturing the children in Daraa must be punished!

Translated by: Rima Al Qaq

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