Syr­ian ‘crimes’ con­demned by UN body

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

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

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