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Donahoe: The Evidence is Incontrovertible. Assad Regime is Waging a Brutal Campaign Against the Syrian People
June 27, 2012

Interactive Dialogue: Commission of Inquiry on Syria
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe
Human Rights Council 20th Session
June 27, 2012A woman speaking at a microphone

Thank you, Madame President.

The United States thanks the Commission of Inquiry for its diligent and vital work.  And we thank Deputy Joint Special Envoy Guehenno for his briefing on the efforts to implement Joint Special Envoy Annan’s six-point plan.

The evidence is incontrovertible.  The Assad regime is waging a brutal campaign against the Syrian people, characterized by aerial bombardment, mass killings, rape, and other atrocities.  According to some estimates, the death toll from this crisis has now reached 15,000.  The recent massacres in Homs and Houla show the regime’s depravity; innocent children, women, and men were murdered through summary execution in their own homes.

We hold the Assad regime responsible for the violence and slaughter in Homs, Houla, and elsewhere.  And we demand an end to the regime’s outrageous crimes against the people of Syria.  In making this demand, we join the deafening chorus of international condemnation and demands for peace and justice.  Our united message is clear – the violence and impunity must stop.

The Assad regime has made no serious efforts to comply with its commitment to the six points of the Annan plan and with UN Security Council resolutions 2042 and 2043.  The regime continues to use heavy weapons against civilians, deploy tanks and troops in urban areas, detain activists arbitrarily and without any pretense of due process, and restrict fundamental freedoms.  This behavior is inexcusable.  The United States remains fully committed to supporting Joint Special Envoy Annan, and his efforts to have all parties implement his six-point plan.

The Commission of Inquiry must be able to continue documenting violations and collecting evidence so that those who are responsible for gross human rights violations and abuses can be held accountable.  To this end, the COI must be given immediate, full, unfettered, and secure access on the ground.

The actions of the people of Syria bravely demonstrate, on a daily basis, their hunger for universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for basic human dignity.  We stand with them and support their struggle for these rights, and a peaceful democratic transition.

We have the following questions:

  • To what extent has the COI had access to and drawn upon on-the-ground reporting by UNSMIS?
  • Has the COI interviewed UNSMIS officers?

Thank you, Madame President.