DAMASCUS, Syria, June 14 (UPI) -- Amnesty International said Thursday it has fresh evidence Syrian forces and pro-government militias are committing crimes against humanity and war crimes.
"This disturbing new evidence of an organized pattern of grave abuses highlights the pressing need for decisive international action to stem the tide of increasingly widespread attacks against the civilian population, including crimes against humanity and war crimes, committed by government forces and militias with utter impunity," said Donatella Rovera, senior crisis adviser for Amnesty International.
The 70-page report, "Deadly Reprisals," was based on findings by the organization, which visited 23 towns and villages in the Aleppo and Idlib governorates.
In every town "grieving families described to Amnesty International how their relatives -- young and old, including children -- were dragged away and shot dead by soldiers, who in some cases then set the victims bodies on fire," the report said.
Rovera, who recently spent a number of weeks investigating human rights violations in northern Syria, said everywhere she went she was asked why the world stands by doing nothing.
"Such inaction by the international community ultimately encourages further abuses," she said, adding the situation continues to deteriorate and the death toll rises daily.
Since the outbreak of violence last year, Amnesty said it has received the names of more than 10,000 people killed in the unrest but believes the figures to be considerably higher.