UN rights council orders probe into Syria violations
The UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday ordered a probe into violations committed by the Syrian regime during its crackdown on popular protests.
By 33 votes in favour to four against and nine abstentions, the council passed a resolution to "urgently dispatch an independent international commission of inquiry... to investigate violations of international human rights law in Syria" in recent weeks.
The UN rights council had called an emergency session on the situation in Syria, as investigators concluded that widespread and systematic rights violations have been committed by President Bashar al-Assad's regime since peaceful demonstrations began in mid-March.
Opening the meeting on Monday, UN rights chief Navi Pillay told the council that 2,200 people had been killed since the mass protests began.
However, China, Russia and Cuba led the opposition against the council's resolution, saying that it was one-sided and politicised.
"The draft remains one-sided and politicised. It does not take into account positive steps by the Syrian leadership to stabilise the country, its willingness to engage in conversation," said a Russian diplomat.
He also charged that the resolution "is aimed at removing a legitimate government."
China's envoy added that by adopting the resolution, "the council will only complicate the situation, and injure the political process in Syria."
© 2011 AFP