HRC interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic

On the 17th of September,
the Human Rights Council held an interactive dialogue with the Commission of
Inquiry on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic.                                       Mr. Paulo Pinheiro, Chairperson of the
Commission of Inquiry, expressed concern that the violations of human rights
are committed in Syria by both parties: Government forces and anti-Government
armed groups. Therefore, he stated that, in compliance with International
Criminal Law, perpetrators should be held responsible for such violations and
the Commission should recommend that the Council forward its report to the
Security Council. 

Ms. Navi Pilllay, United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights, introducing the report of the Secretary-General
on the human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, expressed anxiety in
the country due to the Government forces’ abductions and torture of prisoners.
 The Representative of the Syrian Arab
Republic at the UN declared that the report of the Commission was neither
accurate nor objective. Also, Syria insisted that the report ignored the fact
that sanctions constituted a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter
and the principles of international law. In addition, he stressed the
cooperation offered by Syria to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights in order to settle the crisis, while the anti-Government forces
continued to refuse to participate to the Geneva agreement.
 During the interactive dialogue,
Member States expressed deep concern about the escalation of human rights
violations, especially concerning children and women. An effective process of
negotiation involving all relevant segments of Syrian society was recognized as
the only way to overcome the conflict and violence. Moreover, they highlighted
that the Security Council should refer the situation to the International
Criminal Court. Finally, Member States offered their support to the work of the
Joint Special Envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, and urged the Human Rights Council to
further extend the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry.

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