B’nai B’rith welcomes the United States-initiated U.N. Human Rights Council resolution condemning Syria’s attacks against civilian protesters. The resolution, adopted April 29, mandates the dispatching of a mission to investigate violations of international human rights law in Syria.
After more than a month of unrest, some human rights groups inside Syria put the death toll at more than 500. Countless others have been detained.
Earlier, the U.N. Security Council failed to reach the consensus necessary to issue a statement condemning the violent Syrian repression.
Meeting in response to a U.S. request, the U.N. Human Rights Council resolution on “The human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic in the context of recent events,” passed with 26 votes in favor to 9 against with 7 abstentions.
The resolution noted that the council expressed “…deep regret at the deaths of hundreds of people in connection with the recent and ongoing political protests in Syria, and grave concern with respect to alleged deliberate killings, arrests, and instances of torture of peaceful protestors by the Syrian authorities.”
In the resolution, the council also “Unequivocally condemns the use of lethal violence against peaceful protestors by the Syrian authorities and urges the Syrian Government to immediately put an end to all human rights violations, protect its population, and respect fully all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and freedom of assembly; further urges the authorities to allow access to the Internet and telecommunications networks and to lift censorship on reporting, including by allowing appropriate access by foreign journalists.”
Syria has been seeking a seat on the world’s premier watchdog agency for human rights. B’nai B’rith International has spoken out forcefully against Syria’s fitness to serve on the council. Damascus’ ban on anti-government protests and its brutal reaction to Syrians seeking a more representative government should once and for all disqualify Syria from a seat on the Human Rights Council.
B’nai B’rith appreciates the efforts of the United States in bringing this matter before the Human Rights Council.