UN rights council condemns 'gross violations' in Syria
The UN Human Rights Council voted on Friday to condemn "gross violations" of human rights in Syria following evidence security forces murdered and tortured dissidents.
Members in Geneva passed a resolution "strongly condemning the continued widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities" while referring a report on the abuses to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Thirty-seven voted in favour of the resolution, six abstained while four countries -- Russia, Cuba, Ecuador and China -- voted against.
The meeting was called to address the findings of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, appointed by the Human Rights Council earlier this year, which said 307 children had been killed since the March crackdown.
The resolution recommends that the main UN bodies consider the report although explicit reference in the draft version to the General Assembly and the UN Security Council -- the organisation's most powerful branch -- was omitted.
The council will send the report to Ban and all relevant UN bodies for "appropriate action," it said, and agreed to create a special rapporteur to further investigate the human rights situation in Syria.
The UN estimates that more than 4,000 people have been killed in the repression, which High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned at the opening of the emergency session could drive Syria to civil war.
© 2011 AFP