A grim catalogue of torture has emerged from former detainees describing their treatment in Syria's detention centres since the predominantly peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government began in March 2011.
Amnesty International's report reveals that all the various security forces are routinely torturing and ill-treating detainees held in the context of the protests and unrest, using methods of cruelty mostly used for decades.
The torture carried out appears to be part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population as part of Syrian government policy to crush dissent.
Amnesty's report identifies 31 torture methods described by witnesses with the group saying the situation resembled the "nightmare" of Syria in the 1970s and 1980s.
The report is released as the UN announces it will shortly deploy human rights monitors to Syria's neighbouring states.
The human rights organisation Amnesty International says tougher action is needed to deal with a "grim catalogue" of state-sponsored torture and ill-treatment in Syria.
The group says it has fresh evidence of widespread abuses of civilians detained by security forces.