UN Human Rights Council to hold special session on Syria

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The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold a special session on Monday 22 to examine Syria's deadly crackdown on protestors, it said on Thursday.

The session, the second on Syria this year, was requested by 24 members of the council, including European Union members, the United States and all four Arab countries, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The announcement comes on the day the UN's Security Council will meet to examine the crisis in Syria, where diplomats in New York said the UN human rights chief was expected to call for the international war crimes court to investigate President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay and humanitarian chief Valerie Amos will also give details of the latest events in the strife-torn country at Thursday's Security Council meeting.

In Geneva, a European diplomat told AFP the Human Rights Council special session would aim at condemning Syria's actions and call for an investigation into the regime's deadly crackdown on demonstrators, as was the case during a previous special session held on April 29.

Activists have reported around 2,000 deaths in the five-month-old uprising against Assad's rule.

A defiant Assad on Wednesday told his ruling Baath party that Syria would "remain strong and resilient" despite international pressure.

© 2011 AFP

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