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U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Syria
March 16, 2017

Adoption of the Report of the Working Group on the
Universal Periodic Review of Syria

Statement of the United States of America
as delivered by Jason Mack

Human Rights Council 34th session
Geneva, March 16, 2017

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States remains appalled by the human rights situation in Syria.

The UN Commission of Inquiry’s March 1 report on Aleppo again documented atrocities against civilians.  It detailed brutal tactics used in taking the city through the besieging and bombarding of eastern Aleppo, including targeting civilians, medical and humanitarian personnel, and vital civilian infrastructure.  The report concluded that the offensive on Aleppo claimed hundreds of civilian lives and involved serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, some of which amounted to war crimes.

The United States again urges the Syrian government, and the Iran supported and trained militias that increasingly make up its ground forces, to cease the use of lethal violence against civilians immediately and to implement a political solution to the conflict.  We reiterate our call to grant unrestricted access for humanitarian assistance, including to besieged and hard-to-reach areas.  We also call upon the Syrian government to cease egregious abuses against prisoners, to allow the immediate and unfettered access to medical services for all detainees, and to release Syrians who have been unlawfully imprisoned.

We reiterate our call on the Assad regime for an immediate end to all human rights violations and abuses, as well as accountability for perpetrators.  The regime’s inhumane suppression of opposition forces allows terrorist groups to flourish.

Thank you, Mr. President.