* Code comes after video showed executions
* Says any captive should be treated as POW
BEIRUT Aug 8 Some prominent Syrian rebel
fighters have signed a 'code of conduct' committing them to
observe human rights in their battle to overthrow President
Bashar al-Assad, a week after video footage showed rebels
executing pro-Assad militiamen in Aleppo.
The code, which activists said was signed by leaders of
several rebel brigades, included pledges not to rape, torture or
Free Syrian Army rebels will "respect human rights in
accordance with our legal principles, our tolerant religious
principles and the international laws governing human rights,"
Any soldier or Assad supporter captured by the rebels should
be treated in accordance with laws governing prisoners of war.
"I pledge not to practice any form of torture, rape,
mutilation or degradation. I will observe prisoners' rights and
will not exercise any of the above practices in order to abstain
confessions," the rebel code said.
Rights groups have accused Assad's forces of committing
violations including torture and killing of captives. But last
week footage emerged showing rebels executing four suspected
"Shabbiha" militiamen, loyal to Assad, in Aleppo, with fighters
gloating over the bodies in a police station overrun by rebels.
The Aleppo-based Tawheed brigade, believed to have captured
the men who were shot dead in Aleppo last week, was not on the
list of signatories, which included fighters from Deraa, Deir
al-Zor, Sweida, Hama and Homs.
The leader of one of the brigades confirmed to Reuters he
had signed the accord, but said he did not consider the
commitments in the code to be binding.
Another rebel said his brigade refused to sign the conduct
because they had reservations over some of its articles. He
refused to specify.