Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Africa’s donkeys slaughtered for Chinese ‘miracle elixir’

Read more

FOCUS

Pashtun Protection Movement speaks up against extrajudicial killings

Read more

FASHION

Haute Couture, summer 2018: Julien Fournié finds inspiration in Asia

Read more

ENCORE!

Total immersion: Klimt's luminous paintings come to life in new art space

Read more

#THE 51%

For her pleasure: Is 'feminist porn' a contradiction?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Paris Saint-Germain football club opens new hub in Shanghai

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

'Europe has become the world’s largest exporter of ivory'

Read more

IN THE PRESS

A reflection of our times: More women, more young people in Time 100 list for 2018

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Commonwealth summit: African members seek to grow trade value to $2 trillion

Read more

Middle east

UN rights committee slams Syrian crackdown

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-23

The UN General Assembly's human rights committee voted Tuesday to condemn the Syrian government for its continuing crackdown on protesters. Syria's UN envoy accused Britain, France and Germany, as backers of the resolution, of "inciting civil war".

AP - A key U.N. committee voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to condemn human rights violations by President Bashar Assad’s government and called for an immediate end to all violence, signaling growing international opposition to Syria’s eight-month crackdown on civilians.

The nonbinding resolution adopted by the General Assembly’s human rights committee calls on Syrian authorities to implement an Arab League peace plan, agreed to earlier this month, “without further delay.” It urges the withdrawal of government tanks from the streets, the release of political prisoners, a halt to attacks on civilians, and allowing observers into the country.

The resolution, sponsored by Britain, France and Germany, was approved by a vote of 122-13 with 41 abstentions. It must now be approved at a plenary session of the 193-member world body, where its adoption is virtually certain.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said in a statement that the committee’s first-ever resolution on Syria’s human rights violations “has sent a clear message that it does not accept abuse and death as a legitimate path to retaining power.”

Syria tried to prevent a vote on the resolution, introducing a motion to take “no action” but it was overwhelmingly defeated.

Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari again accused Britain, France and Germany of “waging a media, political and diplomatic war against Syria” and encouraging armed groups to engage in violence rather than national dialogue with the government.

Although the European powers sponsored the resolution, he said, “it is not a secret that the United States of America is the mastermind and main instigator of the political campaign against my country.”

The resolution had more than 60 co-sponsors including Syria’s fellow Arab nations Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain and Kuwait, and neighbor Turkey, which has been outspoken in its criticism of Assad’s crackdown and is hosting Syrian opposition groups.

Syria only got support from Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Iran, Myanmar, Nicaragua, North Korea, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zimbabwe who objected to targeting a single country for what they called political motives.

It was a victory for the three European powers who failed last month to win approval for a legally binding Security Council resolution threatening sanctions against Syria for its violent crackdown because of Russian and Chinese vetoes.

Germany’s U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig said the resolution sent “a strong message to the Syrian authorities to stop violence immediately, and also a sign of hope to the Syrian people that their suffering is not ignored.”

British Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed the wide international support and warned that “as long as the crisis in Syria continues, the international pressure on the Assad regime will only intensify.”

France’s U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud called the vote “a great success,” adding “we do hope that some members of the Security Council will receive the message.”

He noted that Russia and China abstained on the resolution.

Araud said the European sponsors will wait for a report from the Human Rights Council’s independent international investigation of events in Syria before considering next steps.

Human Rights Watch’s U.N. Director Philippe Bolopion urged the Security Council to “get to work on a resolution imposing an arms embargo, referring the case to the International Criminal Court and sanctioning the Syrian leaders involved in the abuse.”

Ja’afari acknowledged that Syria “has some problems” and needs to move forward on a process of comprehensive political, economic and social reforms _ but that it would not be influenced by the resolution.

“All these ridiculous plots and maneuvers will not prevent us from protecting our country and our people from any foreign ambitions,” he warned.
 

Date created : 2011-11-22

  • SYRIA-TURKEY

    Turkish PM calls on Syria’s Assad to step down

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syria accuses Europe of ‘diplomatic war’

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Arab League rejects Syrian peace plan amendments

    Read more

COMMENT(S)