New York: The UN Human Rights Council has ordered an investigation into violations committed by the Syrian regime during its crackdown on popular protests. The council passed a resolution to “urgently dispatch an independent international commission of inquiry” and demanded an end to the violence by Syrian security forces against protesters.It will “investigate violations of international human rights law in Syria since July 2011”. The UN says more than 2,200 people have died in the violence.
There were 33 votes in favour, four against – reportedly including China, Russia and Cuba – and nine abstentions.
The UN high commissioner on human rights, Navi Pillay, opened an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday.
She told delegates that “the gravity of ongoing violations and brutal attacks against the peaceful protesters in [Syria] demand your continued attention”, saying security forces were employing excessive force, including heavy artillery.
A UN humanitarian mission is in Syria in order, the UN says, “to assess such needs as food and medicine”.
It visited the central city of Homs on Monday, but was advised to leave for security reasons when protests started, it added.