Syrian ‘crimes’ condemned by UN body
GENEVA: The UN’S top human rights forum strongly condemned Syria yesterday for “gross and systematic” violations by its forces, including executions, it said may amount to crimes against humanity.
The forum adopted a resolution put forward by the European Union by a vote of 37 states in favour and four against – including China and Russia – with six abstentions.
The text called for the “main bodies” of the UN to consider a UN report which found that crimes of humanity had been committed and “take appropriate action”.
It also established the new post of a special human rights investigator on Syria.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said more than 4 000 people have been killed during the crackdown on street protesters and more than 14 000 people are believed to be in detention.
The EU called for “proactive action” by the international community, while Kuwait’s envoy said that there may be a need for “intervention” to safeguard civilians.
Syria’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui, denounced yesterday’s human rights resolution as “politicised”.
“We’ve set the stage in a very substantive way for strong action by the UN if other entities choose to take the opportunity,” US ambassador Eileen Donahoe said.
“The evidence we have seen leaves no doubt about the complicity of Syrian authorities,” she added.
Asked whether this meant the International Criminal Court, she replied: “Absolutely, including the ICC if the Security Council chooses to refer this matter.” – Reuters