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U.N. Launches Inquiry Into Human Rights Violations In Syria

In this citizen journalism image made on a mobile phone and acquired by the AP, Syrian anti-government protesters carry a banner during a rally in the central city of Homs, Syria. (AP Photo)

The United Nations Human Rights Council calls for an international inquiry into possible crimes against humanity by the Syrian government.

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution that calls for an international inquiry into possible crimes against humanity by the Syrian government. The resolution condemns the regime led by Bashar al-Asad for repeated and systematic human rights violations.

Five months ago, the people of Syria rose up to demand an end to the corruption, injustice and poverty endemic under the current system. But instead of heeding the call of its citizens, the Syrian government sent its security forces and military against unarmed civilians. So far, some two thousand, two hundred Syrian people have lost their lives.

"There are credible reports that government forces in Syria have committed numerous gross human rights violations, including torture and summary executions in their crackdown against opposition members," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following the passage of the resolution. "The most recent attack by Syrian security forces on protesters in Homs is as deplorable as it is sadly representative of the Asad regime’s utter disregard for the Syrian people."

The Human Rights Council's decision to form an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate the possibility of human rights abuses by the Syrian government will make clear the international community's concern for the Syrian people, said Secretary of State Clinton. More than 30 members of the Human Rights Commission, including the United States and key Arab members Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Kuwait, worked together to establish the mandate.

"The Commission of Inquiry will investigate all violations of international human rights law by Syrian Authorities and help the international community address the serious human rights abuses in Syria and ensure that those responsible are held to account," said Secretary Clinton.

"The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the slaughter, arrest, and torture of peaceful protesters taking place in Syria. We continue to urge nations around the world to stand with the Syrian people in their demands for a government that represents the needs and will of its people, and protects their universal rights. For the sake of the Syrian people, it is time for Assad to step aside and leave this transition to the Syrians themselves."