UN rights body debates call for probe in Syria

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The UN Human Rights Council holds a special session on Syria on Friday where the United States is seeking condemnation of a crackdown on protests and an international probe into the violence.

The meeting, requested by 10 European nations, the United States, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Senegal and Zambia, will open at 11.00 am (0900 GMT).

A draft resolution tabled by the United States 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.

The proposal also "strongly condemns the killing, arrest and torture of hundreds of peaceful protesters by the Syrian government" and "stresses the need to investigate... and prosecute those responsible for attacks."

However, traditional Syrian allies such as Russia, China, Cuba, as well as Islamic countries like Malaysia and Pakistan are also members of the Council, along with other Arab states.

Campaigners said behind-the-scenes haggling was underway on the US proposal after world powers clashed over Syria in the UN Security Council.

In New York on Wednesday, Russia warned the West that "outside interference" could spark civil war, maintaning its block on condemnation of the violence along with China.

Friday's human rights council session was prompted by the Syrian government's crackdown on pro-democracy protests, which according to rights groups has led to at least 453 civilian deaths.

"The international community has been shocked by the killing of hundreds of civilians in connection with peaceful political protests in the past week," US ambassador Eileen Donahoe said after submitting the request for the meeting.

"At the special session, we expect Human Rights Council members will call on the government of Syria to meet its responsibility to protect its population and stop these attacks," she added.

Diplomats were originally mulling a Swiss proposal for a broader special session on the Middle East, but Syrian authorities' recent move against demonstrators prompted Western nations to focus on the country.

Rights activists hoped that Friday's hearing in Geneva would be a blow to Syria's candidacy for membership of the body from 2012 to 2014.

Damascus said in its bid submitted in New York on March 1 that its bid "signifies its commitment to respect and to support the inalienable and indivisible nature of all human rights."

The UN General Assembly is expected to vote on new Council members in May.

© 2011 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • tre posted:

    on 29th April 2011, 04:59:07 - Reply

    imediatly talk to all armed people and security forces in syria, that have a gun, or heavier weapons. tell them what not to shoot. exspcially in areas where violence against peacful protesters has occured.

    report the dialog attempts, or interviews, with the armed and heavily armed people in syria.

    Broadcast messege on there tv, radio, send radio,phone, dialog tools. could drop it from plane, send on ship, unmanned vehical(rc robot), lrad(heard from 3000meters away) blimp seen from 3miles away(4823meters) put phone in bullet like case that wont explode when it lands, than launch from launcher. Light hologram messege in sky.

    no shooting bullets at, use grenades, torching, burning, using lethal force, hitting with batons or sticks, throwing rocks/stones, or firing tear, nerve, CN, or cs gas, opening fire on, live ammunition at, slughtering, hurling firebombs, using stun-gun on, killing, bloody crackdown on, beating,beating with metal pipes, tortureing, poeple that are not physcially abuseing, pointing/useing/shooting weapons at people

    No fireing on people or crowds of people just for being protesters, mourners, or for marching/walking down the street.
    No hitting people with stun guns, based on beacuse they are, or are not wearing an oragne braclet. No discriminating against people based on if they are wearing an oarnge braclet, or if they have yellow peices on there clothes.
    dont fire on people for leaveing their homes.
    dont shoot at water tanks on roofs to deprive people of water
    *no shooting people, that are carrying a gun, but is not pointing/shooting/useing it at anyone.
    *Dont shoot at places where it is likley to cause death or bodily harm to poeple that are not physcially abuseing, pointing/useing/shooting weapons at people.
    Dont shoot at, and stop all attacks and threats of attacks agianst people that are not physcially abuseing, pointing/useing/shooting weapons at people.