UNHRC to hold urgent debate on Syria

Geneva, May 28 (IANS) The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will hold an urgent debate on Syria Wednesday as requested by Turkey, Qatar and the US, the council announced Monday.

The three countries handed in the request May 24, asking for an urgent debate during the council’s 23rd session on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Syria and the recent killings in its Al Qusayr city, reported Xinhua.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in her opening statement Monday that she was extremely concerned at current reports, suggesting that hundreds of civilians have been killed or injured, and thousands may remain trapped by indiscriminate shelling and aerial attacks by government forces in Al Qusayr.

Stating wanton human rights violations were also being committed by anti-government groups, Pillay urged the UN Security Council to refer the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court.

“These war crimes and crimes against humanity cannot be allowed to go unpunished.”

” We must make it clear to both the government and the armed opposition groups that there will be consequences for those responsible,” she said.

Pillay also expressed concern about the US’ failure to shut down the Guantanamo detention centre.

The 23rd session will last until June 14.

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