The Human Rights Council’s Special Session on Syria
Secretary of State
Today the UN Human Rights Council took urgent action to shine a light on the deteriorating human rights situation in Syria and condemn the continued human rights abuses by the Syrian government. Today’s resolution – passed with an overwhelming majority by members from all regions of the globe – unequivocally indicates that the use of force by the Syrian government to quell peaceful political demonstrators is unacceptable. The international community has spoken and expressed its outrage at the violence used by the Syrian government to deny its population their universal human rights, including the freedoms of expression and assembly.
The Council’s forceful statement, coupled with its decision to establish an urgent investigation led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, ensures that the international community will remain actively engaged in the human rights crisis in Syria.
The Council also called upon the Syrian government to immediately release all prisoners of conscience and arbitrarily detained persons, including those who were detained before the recent events, and to immediately cease any intimidation, persecution and arbitrary arrests of individuals, including lawyers, human rights defenders and journalists.
The findings of this Special Session further reinforce the crucial need for Council members to reject Syria’s hypocritical candidacy for membership on the Human Rights Council. No country engaged in such horrific and ongoing human rights abuses should be considered for membership on this important body.