UN Human Rights Committee Condemns Syria for Violent Crackdown

122 states, including several Arab, Muslim nations, call on President Bashar Assad to halt bloodshed which has claimed more than 3,000 lives.

Shlomo Shamir
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Shlomo Shamir

The UN General Assembly's human rights committee on Tuesday condemned Syria for the large-scale human rights violations since the crackdown on protesters began eight months ago. 122 states voted in favor, 13 voted against and 41 abstained.

The resolution was drafted jointly by Britain, France and Germany, is seen as the UNs first official reaction to the bloodshed in Syria.

Demonstrators march against Syria's President Bashar Assad in Homs, November 21, 2011. Credit: Reuters

According to estimates, more than 3,000 civilians have been killed so far by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad. Yet aside for condemning the damage done to foreign embassies in Damascus, the UN Security Council has yet to take any steps against Syria.

China and Russia have been blocking any official Security Council resolutions.

Though largely symbolic, UN officials said Tuesday that they were encouraged by the fact that no less than 61 states co-sponsored the resolution – including Arab and Muslim states. They added that the votes show that Assad is losing his legitimacy in the Arab world.

Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, said after the vote that Israel joined an unusual coalition in the UN and voted for the resolution alongside Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Morocco. He added that the international community has sent the ophthalmologist Bashar Assad a clear message – open your eyes.

Britains ambassador to the UN said that the resolution is a clear message to the Syrian government that it must put an immediate stop to the grave human rights violations that have been continuing for nine months.