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29 Mar, 2014 18:25

​Russia slams ‘one-sided’ UNHRC resolution on Syria

​Russia slams ‘one-sided’ UNHRC resolution on Syria

The resolution on Syria passed by the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council is biased and neglects mentioning the violence of the rebels drawn up in a recent report by an Independent Commission, said the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"For instance, while enumerating the violations of human rights the resolution does not make any mentioning of violence on the part of rebels that was described in the report in detail - mass executions, abductions of women and children, sexual violence, the use of children soldiers, mortar shelling of densely populated areas, as well as the terrorist acts committed by the groups making up the Syrian Free Army and closely linked to the Islamic Front," the ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry added that some of the groups that committed these atrocities, the West is “trying to pass off as a moderate opposition.”

Each radical group runs a jail in a village or town controlled by jihadists and tortures are rife in those jails, said the independent commission in its report as cited by the Russian ministry.

"A one-sided appeal to the Syrian government to publish a full list of penitentiaries sounds rather strange," the ministry said.

The ministry also said that it is puzzling to them that UN refused Russia’s suggestion concerning the wording of the document – to condemn terrorism in Syria.

"The Russian side has been actively working with a group of co-authors and proposed a number of amendments for a balanced text. Most of our proposals, however, were not taken into account.”

“This is despite the fact that the agreed counter-terrorism clause is in Resolution 2139 of the UN Security Council.”

Moreover, the UN Council on Human Rights went far beyond its mandate, offering to urge Damascus to accelerate the implementation of the chemical disarmament program, the statement added.

“UN Council on Human Rights is not authorized to interfere in the process, to dictate priorities and decide which provisions of the Geneva communiqué need special attention,” the ministry stressed.

The UN’s top human rights body voted overwhelmingly on Friday to renew its war crimes investigation in Syria for another year. The 47-nation Human Rights Council adopted the resolution that again condemns the violence in Syria’s ongoing civil war and holds the Syrian government responsible for the atrocities. The resolution was initiated by the UK, Germany, Jordan, Italy, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, US, France and Turkey. Russia, China, Venezuela and Cuba voted against it. 11 countries declined to vote including Algeria, Vietnam, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Congo, Namibia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Ethiopia and South Africa.

Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui, Syrian envoy to UN’s Geneva HQ, described the latest resolution as biased against his government.

The resolution was adopted with three aims - to renew the investigation, condemn as strongly as possible violations of humanitarian and human rights laws, and support efforts to hold culprits accountable, said UK Ambassador Karen Pierce.

The violence in Syria has killed more than 140,000 people, forced millions to flee their homes and triggered a regional humanitarian crisis dubbed worst in the latest decades.