News / Middle East

UN Human Rights Council Concerned About Syria

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (R) talks to Remigiusz Henczel, President of the Human Rights Council before the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva Feb. 25, 2013.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (R) talks to Remigiusz Henczel, President of the Human Rights Council before the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva Feb. 25, 2013.
Lisa Schlein
Gross and systematic human rights violations around the world, including torture, arbitrary detention and disappearances will come under review by the United Nations Human Rights Council during the next four weeks. 

The council meeting started with General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic appealing for an immediate end to the bloodbath in Syria.  

He notes civil conflict has claimed more than 70,000 lives, caused more than 860,000 people to flee the country and millions more to become displaced within Syria.  Jeremic says 20 percent of the population lacks access to fuel, electricity, a telephone line and a reliable source of food and water.

“I wish to underline my great concern at the perpetuation of the most horrific humanitarian tragedy of our times," he said. "For close to two years, the international community has failed to put a stop to the carnage.  The immediate cessation of hostilities should be our foremost priority.” 

Jeremic says there is a danger that violence will be allowed to run its course and warns civilians would continue to suffer the most.  

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay agrees with this assessment.  She says impunity for international crimes must end.

But Pillay says the Security Council has failed to end the conflict in Syria, and it has not sent the case to the International Criminal Court.

“Two important situations, Darfur in 2008 and Libya in 2011, have been referred, but the Security Council has so far failed with regard to Syria, despite the repeated reports of widespread or systematic crimes and violations by my Office,” she said.

Russia and China, which are allies of Syria, have blocked Security Council resolutions to pressure President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to end the violence in his country.  

Pillay may have better luck in getting the Human Rights Council to back a resolution for an international investigation of rape, torture and other abuse charges in North Korea.  Observers in Geneva believe such a resolution might, for the first time in history pass, because North Korea’s staunch ally, China, as well as Russia and Cuba which usually vote as a block, are not members of the Council this year.

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.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Moses
February 26, 2013 10:59 AM
Please tell us what the assessment on Zimbabwe is.
It seems to have been overlooked.?

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