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Human Rights Council decides to dispatch a commission of inquiry to investigate human rights violations in the Syrian Arab Republic
UN Human Rights Council
23 August 2011
Following the Special Session held by the UN Human Rights Council from 22-23 August, 2011 on the human rights violations committed in Syria, the Council adopted a resolution and decided to dispatch a commission of inquiry to investigate further.
The resolution, adopted by 33 votes in favour, 4 votes against and 9 abstentions, strongly condemns the continued grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities; welcomes the report of the fact-finding mission of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and expresses profound concern about its findings; and calls upon the Syrian authorities to immediately put an end to all human rights violations; to protect their population and fully comply with their obligations and calls for an immediate end to all violence in Syria. It also calls on Syrian authorities to allow independent media to operate without undue restrictions, to allow access to the Internet and telecommunications networks for all and to lift censorship on reporting. The resolution expresses concern about the humanitarian situation and urges the Syrian authorities to ensure timely, safe and unhindered access for all humanitarian agencies and workers and to ensure the safe passage of humanitarian and medical supplies into the country. The resolution calls for a Syrian led political process and for an inclusive, credible and genuine national dialogue conducted in an environment without fear and intimidation and with the aim of addressing the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian population.
The Council also decided to dispatch an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since March 2011, to establish the facts and circumstances that may amount to such violations and of the crimes perpetrated and, where possible, to identify those responsible with a view of ensuring that perpetrators of violations, including those that may constitute crimes against humanity, are held accountable. The resolution requests that the report of the commission be made public as soon as possible, and that an update is presented during the 19th session of the Council and transmitted to the General Assembly. (…)

Votes in Favour (33): Austria, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, United States of America, and Uruguay.

Votes Against (4): China, Cuba, Ecuador, and Russian Federation.

Abstentions (9): Angola, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Djibouti, India, Malaysia, Mauritania, Philippines, and Uganda.

See full press release.

See adopted draft resolution (as received by Council).

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