New York, November 22, 2011
New York, November 22, 2011
The U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee on Tuesday condemned Syria for its eight-month crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in a vote backed by Western nations and a number of Arab states.
The resolution was passed by 122 votes to 13 with 41 abstentions at the U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee. Syria’s U.N. envoy accused the European backers of the resolution – Britain, France and Germany – of “inciting civil war.”
The resolution “strongly condemns the continued grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities,” highlighting the “arbitrary executions” and “persecution” of protesters and human rights defenders.
It also condemns “arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, torture and ill treatment of detainees, including children” and demands an immediate end to all such violations.
Arab nations Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco and Qatar were among more than 60 countries to co-sponsor the resolution.
Russia and China, which vetoed a European-drafted resolution that would have condemned Syria in the U.N. Security Council last month, voted against it.
Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said the resolution had no meaning for Damascus and portrayed it as a U.S.-inspired political move.
“Despite the fact that the draft resolution was basically presented by three European states, however it is no secret that the United States of America is … the main mind behind the political campaign against my country,” he said.
“This draft resolution has no relevance to human rights, other than it is part of an adversarial American policy against my country,” he added.
Ja’afari displayed for delegates what he said were documents containing the “names of terrorists arrested while smuggling arms through the borders of Syria.” He said the documents offered clear proof of a U.S.-led plot to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
He said Britain, France and Germany were “part of the escalation of violence in my country” and were “propagating violent sedition” in Syria.
“How can you believe they are not interfering when they are inciting civil war?” said Ja’afari, who was given support in speeches by Iranian, North Korean, Venezuelan and Cuban envoys.
“We will not let the former colonial powers interfere in our affairs again,” he said, indicating the Assad government would not change its policies.
After Russia and China vetoed the Security Council resolution last month –insisting it would be used as an excuse to carry out regime change – Western powers insisted they would return to the U.N.’s supreme body to get condemnation.
The Arab League move to suspend Syria and order sanctions has strengthened the case for action by the Security Council, according to western diplomats.
Egypt, where new unrest is rocking the country, supported the resolution.
Saudi ambassador Abdullah al Mouallimi stressed the Arab League efforts to end the violence but pointed the finger at the Assad government when he said “obstacles have been put in place which impede these goals”.
He said the international community “must send a message to the Syrian people” with the resolution.
Al Arabiya with Agencies