UN rights council opens special debate on Syria
The UN Human Rights Council on Friday opened a special session on Syria, as Western countries stepped up pressure for condemnation of the crackdown on protests and sought an international probe into the violence.
The debate was requested by 10 European nations, the United States, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Senegal and Zambia, but they face strong opposition from Syrian allies, including Russia and China.
A draft resolution tabled by the United States for the meeting calls on the 47-member Council to agree to "urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry... to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law" in Syria.
However, diplomats and campaigners reported heavy behind the scenes negotiations to water down the proposal.
© 2011 AFP