World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Compassion Does Not Suffice to End Bloodshed in Syria

‘Compassion Does Not Suffice’ UN Rights Panel Says, Urging Immediate End to Bloodshed in Syria

New York, Mar 18 2014 - As the Syrian war enters a fourth year, the harrowing violence shows no signs of subsiding – the fighting has driven some nine million civilians from their homes and has reduced many of those who remain to scavenging – said the head of a United Nations-appointed human rights panel, denouncing the international community’s inaction in the pursuit of peace and accountability.

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic – appointed by the UN Human Rights Council – presented earlier today in Geneva a detailed report on the living conditions of men and women in the region and outlined a list of individuals – on all sides - believed to be responsible for crimes against humanity.

“The lives of over one hundred thousand people have been extinguished. Those freed from detention now live with the physical and mental scars of torture. The fate and whereabouts of thousands more remain unknown,” regretted Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair of the Commission.

According to the report, nearly nine million people – a third of the population – have fled their homes. In addition to the 2.5 million refugees, there are an estimated 6.5 million internally displaced people inside Syria, and millions more living in enclaves surrounded by violence.

“This is the tragic reality of the Syrian war,” stated Mr. Pinheiro in his presentation, adding that “no one can claim ignorance of what is going on.”

Drawing attention to the starvation endured by civilians, the repeated acts of terrorism they face every day, and ever growing complexity of the battlefield layers, the Panel deplored the lack of action by the international community: “Compassion does not and should not suffice,” insisted Mr. Pinheiro adding that “we cannot continue to sit for years in these rooms, writing reports and making speeches lamenting the blood that is running in Syria’s streets.”

In February, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2139 which highlighted the need to end impunity for violations of international law and reaffirmed “that those who have committed or are otherwise responsible for such violations and abuses in Syria must be brought to justice.”

In the course of its research, the Commission established a list of individuals and entities, such as military units and armed groups, as well as the names of those responsible for violations and crimes documented throughout its reports, from hostage-taking and terrorism to torture and executions. This so-called “perpetrator’s’ list” also contains names of military commanders who target civilians, airports from which barrel bomb attacks are planned and executed, and armed groups involved in attacking and disciplining civilians.

“We have an enormous volume of testimony – over 2700 interviews as well as a wealth of documentary materials,” said Mr. Pinheiro. “We do not lack information on crimes or on perpetrators. What we lack is a means by which to achieve justice and accountability,” he insisted, calling on the Security Council to “make this pursuit of justice possible” and to resume the negotiation of a political solution “with renewed vigour.”

“The warring parties and the regional and international actors must assume their mantles of responsibility and bring this war, and its horrors, to an end,” said Mr. Pinheiro, underscoring that the volumes of testimony will be the Commission’s enduring legacy: an archive of Syrian voices and a resource for future prosecutions.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


$1 Billion In Reparations For Iraq's Invasion Of Kuwait

UN Panel Pays Out Over $1 Billion in Reparations for Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait More>>

UN-Backed Tsunami Warning System Test

A view of the destruction caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 in Point Pedro, a small fishing village in northern Sri Lanka. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Al Jazeera To Mark 300 Days Since Arrests Of Journalists

• 300 second montage to mark 300 days to be aired on Al Jazeera • Parents of Peter Greste say the past 300 days has been stressful Doha , 23 October, 2014 More>>

4 Months’ Jail For French Journos Should Be Enough

'We hope it will be a lesson for foreigners to not violate their visas in Indonesia.' More>>

Support Needed For Olive Farmers In Palestinian Territory

Olive trees in the Palestinian town of Ni'lin in 2008 were very close to expanding Israeli settlements. Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold More>>

ALSO:

Use Of Drones In Law Enforcement May Violate Human Rights

22 October 2014 – The increasing use of armed drones within domestic law enforcement risks depersonalizing the use of force and infringing upon the rights of individual citizens, a United Nations independent human rights expert warned today. More>>

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news