UN: Syrian Forces Killed, Tortured 256 Children
Human Rights Council adds to pressure on President Assad
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 28, 2011 6:20 PM CST
Brazilian Paulo Sergio Pinheiro gestures during a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Monday, Nov 28, 2011.   (Anja Niedringhaus)

(Newser) – A UN investigation concluded today that Syrian forces committed crimes against humanity by killing and torturing hundreds of children, including a 2-year-old girl reportedly shot to death so she wouldn't grow up to be a demonstrator. The inquiry added to mounting international pressure on President Bashar Assad, a day after the Arab League approved sweeping sanctions to push his embattled regime to end the violence.

The report by a UN Human Rights Council panel found that at least 256 children were killed by government forces between mid-March and early November, some of them tortured to death. "Torture was applied equally to adults and children," said the assessment, released in Geneva. "Numerous testimonies indicated that boys were subjected to sexual torture in places of detention in front of adult men." The UN investigation is the latest in a growing wave of international measures pressuring Damascus to end its crackdown.