News / Middle East

Diplomats Distressed About Syrian Unrest

Several U.N. Security Council members say they are distressed by information presented at a meeting by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights that the death toll from unrest in Syria has surpassed 5,000.



The U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative, Rosemary DiCarlo, said the human rights crisis in Syria is a threat to international peace and security. She said the U.N.'s estimate of the death toll in Syria has more than doubled in the past four months, and that it is "unconscionable" that the Security Council has not spoken out about the situation recently.

In October, China and Russia vetoed a draft resolution condemning the bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday it is "immoral" for Western nations to accuse Moscow of blocking the Security Council's work, while at the same time refusing to pressure what he called the "armed extremist" parts of the Syrian opposition.

Germany's ambassador to the U.N. Peter Wittig said his country echoes U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay's assessment that Syrian security forces have committed crimes against humanity this year. He added that the briefing indicates there is a "consistent pattern" of a "state policy" when it comes to the crackdown on civilians.

Britain's ambassador to the U.N. Mark Lyall Grant said it was the "most horrifying briefing" in the the Security Council over the past two years. He said the situation is deteriorating with a military buildup in Homs and tens of thousands of detentions, torturings and rapes.

All representatives expressed the need to collaborate with the Arab League in what Germany's ambassador to the U.N. called a "regional crisis of a serious magnitude.

After the briefing, Human Rights Watch issued a statement that "inaction is not an option anymore.  The rights group added that "history will judge harshly those who still choose to look the other way" during the Syrian tragedy.

WATCH:  Bashar al-Assad: ‘There Was No Command to Kill’
Journalist Barbara Walters discusses brutal crackdown of protests with Syria’s president.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid