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Chatter: More crimes against humanity alleged in Syria

Amnesty International claims it has more evidence of crimes against humanity in Syria, Aung San Suu Kyi makes her first speech in Europe in 24 years, and Britain has a real-life Rip Van Winkle.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
Amnesty International claims it has more evidence of crimes against humanity in Syria, Aung San Suu Kyi makes her first speech in Europe in 24 years, and Britain has a real-life Rip Van Winkle.
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Chatter: 'Butcher of Bosnia' on trial

Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb army commander nicknamed the "Butcher of Bosnia," has gone on trial in The Hague.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
Former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic went on trial today in The Hague. 

Mladic is accused of genocide and crimes against humanity during the Bosnian War of the 1990s, including the alleged orchestration of the Srebrenica massacre.

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Bashar al-Assad interview: Syrian president 'not guilty' about protest deaths

"You feel sorry for the lives that have been lost," said President al-Assad. "But you don't feel guilty when you don't kill people."

Laurent Gbagbo: Ivory Coast's former president in custody in The Hague

"Mr. Gbagbo is the first to be brought to account, there is more to come," promised ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

Khmer Rouge trial: 'Brother Number 2' Nuon Chea defends deadly regime

The Khmer Rouge regime sought to defend the interests of "the nation and the people" against foreign aggressors, Pol Pot's former second-in-command Nuon Chea told the court.

Cambodia: Khmer Rouge genocide suspect Ieng Thirith unfit for trial

Ieng Thirith was due to stand trial with three other Khmer Rouge officials on November 21.

Syria: Counting the dead

Estimates of the number of people killed in Syria since the uprising began in mid-March vary from the regime’s total of 1,400 to activists recording 3,004 dead.
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A Lebanese man carries a sign calling on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down during a rally in support of Syria's ongoing anti-regime uprising in downtown Beirut on September 8, 2011. Some believe more than 3,000 have been killed in the uprising so far. (JOSEPH EID/Staff/AFP/Getty Images)

As the pro-democracy protests in Syria are poised to enter their sixth month, calculating an accurate figure for the death toll from the regime’s crackdown is proving difficult.

According to the UN’s human rights agency, UNHR, the number of people killed, both protestors and security forces, during the uprising is at least 2,600.

"With regard to Syria, let me note that, according to reliable sources on the ground, the number of those killed since the onset of the unrest in mid-March 2011 in that country, has now reached at least 2,600," the UN human rights chief Navi Pillay told the UN Human Rights Council.

While most rights organizations set the numbers of dead roughly in the same ballpark, accuracy is difficult. “Our biggest challenge is communication. When the regime is cracking down on a city, town or neighborhood they switch off the mobile networks and in many cases the landlines,” Wissam Tarif of rights group Avaaz said.

“Those killed under torture are also very difficult to count. We get to know about them mostly after they bury them. That makes proper documentation more difficult.”

According to Avaaz, which will be publishing a comprehensive report on death tolls on Thursday, the number of killed are 3,004 people, including 278 army conscripts, seven defected shabiha (government thugs) and four officers.

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Syrian attorney general exposes atrocities

In a video Hama Attorney General Adnan Muhammad al-Bakkour says atrocities have been committed in the city he presided over. He says that he resigned in protest, while the Syrian authorities say he was kidnapped.
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In a video defected Attorney General Adnan Muhammad al-Bakkour says atrocities have been committed in Hama. (Screengrab)

“I, the attorney general of Hama, Adnan Muhammad al-Bakkour, announce my resignation from my position in the state that is shadowed by Assad and his gangs.”

Sitting at a table in a grey suit reading from papers in front of him, the attorney general, the highest ranking official to resign from Syria so far, delivered a video message explaining his decision.

An independent lawyer has confirmed to Reuters that the person who appeared in the video was indeed Bakkour.

The attorney general gave several reasons for his resignation among them was the killing of 72 protesters in the “Central Prison of Hama”, who had all been buried in mass graves.

According to Bakkour mass graves had also been dug in public parks for the bodies of some 420 people who had died at the hands of the security forces and “death squads”. He said that he had been asked to “present a report declaring that these victims were killed at the hands of “Armed Gangs.””

Five months into the Syrian uprising, which the UN claims have cost the lives of at least 2,200 people, the Assad’s are still intent on crushing the growing calls for the overthrow of the regime.

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Amnesty documents deaths under torture in Syria

New report says at least 88 Syrians have died in detention since uprising began in what international rights group says are probable crimes against humanity.
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A Syrian protestor mocks being tortured during a sit-in. A new Amnesty International report says at least 88 Syrians have died in detention since uprising began. (RAMZI HAIDAR/Staff/AFP/Getty Images)

Amnesty International has documented the cases of at least 88 Syrians who have died in detention in Syria during five months of bloody repression of pro-reform protests, the majority of them after having suffered torture or other ill-treatment that caused or contributed to the deaths.

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