Human Rights Watch hevder i en rapport at også syriske opprørere nå begår selvtekt, henretter fanger og kidnapper folk for å presse penger.
Praksisen skal ha skutt fart i september.
Flere av eksemplene på henrettede fanger gjelder tilfangetatte sikkerhetsoffiserer og medlemmer av den forhatte shabiha-militsen. Opprørerne har ingen fengsler eller territorium, og er sterkt presset. De foretar summarisk justis.
Men det snakkes også om kidnappinger og en av gruppene som oftest knyttes til henrettelser er en islamistisk gruppe.
Borgerkrig forråer, og det er grunn til å frykte at råskapen smitter.
Among the startling admissions recorded by HRW researchers is a statement by a «media coordinator» for the Farouq Brigade, a militia with Islamist tendencies operating separately from the rebels’ Free Syrian Army in and around the city of Homs.
The coordinator said it had executed at least one captured intelligence officer. «The death of the member of the Air Force Intelligence was an act of revenge because the branch is responsible for horrific killings in Homs,» he told the researcher.
In a video, another member of Air Force Intelligence is seen confessing to shooting on protesters and then being offered a last request before his execution.
The admission adds weight to claims made by one opposition activist in the countryside near Homs last month that four men seen by The Daily Telegraph in a mass grave who appeared to have been shot with their hands tied behind their backs had been killed by the Farouq Brigade.
The four, whose bodies had not been claimed and were in an advanced state of decomposition, were snipers with the Shabiha, or Assad regime informal militia, who had been captured and subsequently killed, the activist said.
HRW took care in the report to distinguish between atrocities carried out by disparate volunteer militias such as the Farouq Brigade and the Free Syrian Army, a force largely consisting of army deserters who are supposed to be under the central command of a former regime colonel, Riad al-Assad, now based in Turkey. Most such militias claim to be part of the FSA but are only tenuously under its control.
Another FSA-linked militia, the Kafr Takharim battalion, is thought to have been responsible for the execution of a man shown in another video hanged from a tree, in front of several armed fighters, and also said to be a member of the Shabiha.
However, a man named as «Samih» also claims in the report that the FSA itself is kidnapping people to exchange for prisoners or for ransom.
Human Rights Watch study details torture and executions by Syrian rebels
Syrian rebels have kidnapped, tortured and sometimes executed those they suspect of being supporters of the Assad regime and members of its militias, according to the fullest study yet of abuses by the opposition.