Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

REVISITED

In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

Read more

FOCUS

Bosnia: Hopes of change among disempowered citizens

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

¡Gracias, Gabo!

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Socialist rebellion grows

Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Analysis Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Police seek arrest warrant for South Korea ferry captain

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

Middle east

UN condemns Syria's crackdown on protesters

©

Video by Nathan KING

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-08-04

The UN Security Council late Wednesday condemned the Syrian authorities’ deadly crackdown on anti-government protesters by adopting a non-legally binding statement after weeks of diplomatic wrangling.

AP - The U.N. Security Council condemned Syrian authorities on Wednesday for attacking civilians and committing widespread human rights violations.

Italy recalls ambassador to Syria

Italy recalled its ambassador to Syria on Tuesday to protest the repression of anti-government demonstrations and urged other European nations to do the same.

Italy is the first European Union country to pull its ambassador, although the EU has been tightening sanctions, imposing asset freezes and travel bans against five additional military and government officials on Monday. The Foreign Ministry said it had decided to recall its envoy « in the face of the horrible repression against the civil population » by the Syrian government, which launched a deadly new push against protesters as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began.

The ambassador was coming back Tuesday night, the Foreign Ministry said.

AP
 

After more than three months of deadlock over the escalating violence in Syria, the council adopted a presidential statement criticizing the crackdown by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s military forces. Assad’s regime has been using force since mid-March to put down citizen protests demanding political reforms. Activists say that some 1,700 civilians have been killed.

European and U.S. council members had been pressing for a resolution that would strongly condemn Syria. But Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa had been arguing that condemnation wouldn’t promote negotiations, promised reforms by Assad, and an end to the violence.

The trigger for the council to start negotiations on a text was the military assault launched by the Syrian government over the weekend against the city of Hama, 130 miles (210 kilometers) north of the capital Damascus, which has a history of defiance.

Lebanon, a neighbor and close ally of Syria, didn’t block adoption of the statement, which requires approval by all 15 council members, but it invoked a procedure last used 35 years ago and dissociated itself from the text. Lebanon’s deputy ambassador Caroline Ziade told the council after the statement was read at a formal meeting by India’s U.N. Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, the current president, that it "does not help in addressing the current situation," and therefore "Lebanon dissociates itself" from the statement.

Towns and cities in red have seen anti-government uprisings.

The council adopted the presidential statement to avoid having to call a formal vote on a resolution. While weaker than a resolution, a presidential statement still becomes part of the Security Council’s record. The presidential statement expresses "grave concern at the deteriorating situation in Syria, and expresses profound regret at the death of many hundreds of people." It also expresses regret at "the lack of progress" by Syrian authorities in implementing reforms and calls on the government to keep its promises.

Diplomats said one of the key issues had been how to address the violence against unarmed civilians as well as attacks on Syrian security forces. The Europeans and the U.S. insisted they should not be equated and that civilians could not be condemned for defending themselves against their attackers.

The statement "condemns widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities." It calls on Syrian authorities "to alleviate the humanitarian situation in crisis areas by ceasing the use of force against affected towns, to allow expeditious and unhindered access for international humanitarian agencies and workers, and cooperate fully with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights."

It asks Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to update the Security Council on the situation in Syria in a week, which will keep the issue on the council’s agenda.

TIMELINE: SYRIAN UPRISING

Date created : 2011-08-03

  • SYRIA

    US senators push for tough sanctions against Syria

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Tanks storm Hama square as troops tighten siege

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    UN Security Council holds further talks on Syria

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)