US: Syria should not be admitted to Human Rights Council

Other News Materials 20 April 2011 03:50 (UTC +04:00)

Syria's record of violating human rights should bar it from admission to the UN's Human Rights Council, the US government said Tuesday, dpa reported.

"Given Syria's actions against its own people ... we belive it would be inappropriate and hypocritical for Syria to join the Human Rights Council," State Department spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters.

Syria is one of four candidates for four seats allotted to Asia that will become open in May. If no fifth candidate comes forth, Syria would be likely to win majority backing from the UN General Assembly.

Protests continued Tuesday in Syria as the cabinet approved draft legislation that will end the near half-century state of emergency in the country. The legislation awaits the approval of President Bashar al-Assad.

Toner said the provisions of the law were "unclear," adding there were some reports that protesters would have to get permission from the Interior Ministry before holding demonstrations.

"This new legislation may prove as restrictive as the emergency law it replaced," he said.

One person was killed and three injured early Tuesday in the Syrian city of Homs when security forces opened fire on anti- government protesters, activists said. Clashes erupted Tuesday in the capital Damascus, leaving four people injured and several detained.

"The Syrian government needs to urgently implement broader reforms and ... cease violence against peaceful protesters," Toner said.