UN Human Rights Council Condemns Syria

Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The list of condemnations against the Syrian authorities for their ongoing crackdown on opposition within the country rose on Friday as the United Nations Human Rights Council added their voice in overwhelming fashion. According to the UN News Centre, a resolution that strongly condemned the Syrian actions passed 37-4 with six abstentions. The resolution also formed a mandate for a special investigator into the Syrian human rights situation.

Russia and China, who vetoed a Security Council condemnation of the Syrian authorities in October, were among those who voted no on Friday. The move comes one day after the European Union intensified its current sanctions on Syria and follows sanctions from the Arab League as well.

Prior to the Human Rights Council vote, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said that more than 4,000 people have reportedly been killed in the violence since March, with tens of thousands arrested.  She said more than 300 children have been killed as part of the death toll.

According to a transcript of her comments posted on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Pillay listed a litany of abuses by Syrian authorities, warning that the “continual ruthless repression, if not stopped now, can drive the country into a full-fledged civil war.”

Along those lines, she noted there are reports of “increased armed attacks by the opposition forces” against the Syrian military and security generic to adipex forces, which she said was a “concern.”

The focus of her comments, however, was on the Syrian regime. An Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria was established by the Human Rights Council in August, and Pillay said that the Commission’s report “concludes that Syrian security and military forces have committed crimes against humanity against the civilian population.” These crimes include killings, torture and sexual violence.

Said Pillay, “The Commission’s report further concludes that the sheer scale and consistent pattern of attacks by military and security forces on civilians and the widespread destruction of property indicates authorization or knowledge of the Syrian Government.”

She also called for the international community to “take urgent and effective measures to protect the Syrian people.”

Europe Increases Sanctions

One day earlier the European Union Foreign Affairs Council announced in a press statement additional sanctions on the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, whom they urged to “step aside immediately to allow for a peaceful and democratic transition.”

The new EU restrictive measures include the listing of more individuals and entities “involved in the violence or directly supporting the regime” and are related to the energy, financial, banking and trade sectors. The steps target the regime’s “ability to conduct its brutal repression.”

The Foreign Affairs Council statement said the EU “will continue to impose additional and more comprehensive measures against the regime, not the civilian population, as long as the repression continues.”

(By Staff, www.themideastupdate.com, December 2, 2011)