From the 32nd Session of the Human Rights Council: Commission on the Inquiry on the Syrian Republic

News - On Thursday 21st June 2016, at the 32nd Session of the Human Rights Council, was presented the report of the Commission on the Inquiry on the Syrian Republic, done even though access to international forces is still denied in Syria. The Commission quickly presented its report, insisting on the deterioration of the human rights' situation in the country and the crimes perpretated against the Yezidi population. The countries had afterwards a few minutes to react to the report and ask questions to the members of the Commission.

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Commission of the inquiry on the Syrian Republic

 

Countries’ reactions to the Commission’s report

Greece aligns itself with the European Union and recognizes the crimes of Isis against the Yezidis. It expressed a deep concern towards the fact that the international community is still denied access to the country and condemned the destruction of cultural infrastructures. Greece is also worried about the increasing number of Internally Displaced People and refugees, an issue which particularly touches the country. It therefore urges all parties to engage constructively in the debate.

Australia is concerned and disappointed that there is still not a humanitarian access to the country. It calls for a total ceasefire and a political solution, while condemning the atrocities of Isis against the Yezidis, a subject particularly highlighted by the Commission itself. It calls for the Syrian party and international community to work together to reach a solution to the crisis.

Egypt is terrified by the scale of the destruction, according to the report of the Commission and is concerned about the development of the situation, which continues to deteriorate, with more and more loss of lives, refugees and a growing suffering because some countries still refuse to host these refugees. The representative also notes the violence against the civilian population and supports Geneva’s process at peaceful settlement.

Algeria regrets that violations of humanitarian law and human rights and also calls for a political solution to end the Syrian crisis. It reiterates its support to the United Nations’ process, and reminds the Assembly that Algeria is itself now part of the International Support Group of Syria. The representative assesses that, at term, only direct negotiations will lead to a true peace settlement and will enable Syrian refugees to return to their country. In the meantime, the international community must assume its humanitarian responsibilities, in particular in besieged regions which are difficult to reach.  

Japan firmly condemns the genocide against the Yezidi people and reaffirms that all minorities must be protected. The international community must therefore truly cooperate to protect them from ISIS.

Morocco thanks the Commission for this report while regretting the deterioration of human rights in Syria and the banalization of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In particular, the most vulnerable populations continue to endure much suffering and millions of Syrian civilians end up refugees or internally displaced people. The representative finds it even worse considering that five years after the beginning of the crisis, no process of peace has truly been engaged. Like Algeria, it also calls for humanitarian aid in the regions which remain difficult to access.

Qatar deplores the thousands of deaths and displaced people mentioned in the report. It also firmly condemns the use by the Syrian regime of internationally forbidden weapons.

Sudan is concerned about the deterioration in this fifth consequent year, with an increase of victims belonging to the most vulnerable groups such as women and children. The humanitarian situation is catastrophic and only seems to worsen. The representative calls upon giving assistance to civilians, share livelihood food and shelter without conditionality with the Syrian civilians. Sudan also reassesses that the solution to the crisis can only be political and not military.

Turkey assesses that Daesh constitutes indeed a huge regional threat. From the beginning, the Syrian regime has collaborated with Dash and that fact should not be forgotten. Today, the situation continues to deteriorate, and the representative of Turkey also considers that the regime is deliberately targeting civilian populations, in particular by bombarding hospitals.

Irak begins by emphasizing that any solution must be political. A peaceful dialogue and the voice of the Syrian people must both remain crucial deciding factors. Maintaining negotiations and supporting the efforts made by the UN are essential. The representative also recognized the crimes against minorities, in particular the Yezidis. Irak is also currently trying to put an end to their siege as well as freeing the sex slaves and rehabilitating them.

The Arab Commission for Human Rights considers that the international community is not reacting sufficiently. In addition, it does not enough support refugees. The representative also wishes to highlight the suffering of unaccompanied children who become victims of trafficking gangs. Yezidis people also suffer genocide, a fact justified by an extreme religious discourse. Nevertheless, the Arab Commission assesses that Islam in itself is innocent of this, as all religions teach human brotherhood. It asks the Commission the role religious leaders should take in this conflict.

The Syrian Arab Republic wishes to respond to some allegations. It certifies that the Syrian forces do not use internationally forbidden weapons and does not target civilians but terrorists groups. Speaking of the role of terrorism, and the source of the Syrian people suffering, it’s an issue - the end of this crisis depends of the choice of the Syrian people.


Conclusion from the members of the Commission of the Panel: there have been some releases of detainees at the local level, but it needs to be extended to the national level, and vulnerable groups must especially be released. There is still the issue of how inclusive the political process is: the role of women and of the civil society is crucial, and it cannot be understated. Concerning the issue educating the refugees: the members of the panel are supportive of children protection according to international frameworks. In regards to the genocide: the members have concentrated their efforts on what happened INSIDE Syria, but they recognize nonetheless that is a transnational issue. Reconciliations between communities must be made, and there is the place in which religious leaders’ role is crucial, to respond to the questions raised by the Arab Commission for Human Rights. 

 

Léa Guinet, Coordinator at Cipadh

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