Amnesty: Syrian forces routinely torture detainees

03/14/12 wire reports including AP
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President Barack Obama says the prospect of international military intervention in Syria is premature and could lead to a civil war.

Speaking at a White House news conference, Obama says military intervention could lead to more deaths in Syria. The U.N. estimates that more than 7,500 people have been killed in a year-long struggle between Bashar Al-Assad's regime and opposition forces.

Meanwhile French President Nicolas Sarkozy is urging humanitarian corridors for Syria and says its leader should be sent to the International Criminal Court.

Amnesty International says Syrian forces routinely torture people detained in the country's year-old uprising against Assad.

The London-based group said in a report released today that detainees are beaten with sticks, cords and rifle butts and sometimes suspended inside tires for further beatings. Others are sexually assaulted. Neil Sammonds, is a Syria researcher with Amnesty International.

Under the George W Bush administration, the U.S. rendered some prisoners, including Maher Arar, to Syria where they were tortured.

In other news from the Syrian uprising, two prominent Syrian dissidents have quit the country's main opposition group, the Syrian National Council. They say they're protesting what one of the men describes as an autocratic organization.

And Kurdish officials are opening a second refugee camp to shelter a growing number of Syrians fleeing the bloody uprising.

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