UN condemns Syria's human rights abuses, civilian deaths
The United Nations strongly condemned Syria on Tuesday for the continued widespread violence and the deaths of more than 3,500 people after eight months of unrest, dpa reported.
The UN General Assembly's human rights committee voted 123-13 to adopt a resolution sponsored by several countries, "strongly condemning the continued grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities."
The resolution cited violations such as: arbitrary executions; excessive use of force; the killing and persecution of protesters and human rights defenders; arbitrary detention; forced disappearances; and torture and ill-treatment of detainees, including children.
It called for the government of President Bashar al-Assad to end "without delay" all human rights violations and give protection to its population and fully comply with its obligations under international human rights law.
The human rights committee will send the resolution to the 193-nation assembly for a final vote later on.
It said the Arab League's plan of action to end the conflict should be implemented "in its entirety."
Syria's ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, protested the adoption of the resolution, accusing countries that sponsored it of using the opportunity to advance their political objectives and "blackmail" his country.
"Those sponsors should not encourage armed groups in Syria to escalate violence in my country," Jaafari said.
Jaafari had tried to block the adoption of the resolution by asking the committee to vote first on a motion to adjourn the decision on the resolution. The adjournment motion was rejected by a vote of 118-20, with 29 abstentions.
The committee then proceeded to vote to adopt the resolution condemning Syria.
The countries that co-sponsored the resolution before its adoption included Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Britain, Colombia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.