Syria has committed crimes against humanity, according to the UN Human Rights Council.
The UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution Friday condemning Syria and calling its actions against citizens “crimes against humanity.” The council called on the “main bodies” of the UN to “take appropriate action” against the Syrian regime, while the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on the council to refer Syria’s alleged crimes to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Pillay also said she believes Syria is on the brink of civil war.
37 of the 47 countries voted in favor of the resolution, six abstained and four voted against it, including China and Russia. Syria’s ambassador to the UN Faysaal Hamwi brushed aside the resolution, blaming foreign armed gang for the country’s widespread violence and claiming the resolution was “not objective.”
At least 25 people were killed Saturday during a clash between military defectors and Syrian authorities, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The UN now estimates nearly 4,600 people have been killed during the uprising. At least 950 people were killed in November alone, making it the deadliest month since anti-government protests began in March.
Read more at the LA Times.
Other recommended reads on Syria this weekend:
- Waging Nonviolence’s Gene Sharp, on defecting Syrian soldiers - Sharp argues against military defectors killing their former comrades, claiming these clashes will only help the regime;
- Sam Rubenfeld (over here on Tumblr) of WSJ’s Corruption Currents, on oil company Shell leaving Syria and Christopher Matthews on Syria’s history of losing billions to corruption and tax evasion;
- The New York Times’s Neil MacFarquhar, on Syrian citizens feeling the heat of economic sanctions aimed at the government;
- The Guardian’s David Hearst, on Russia’s decision to support Syria;
- The Guardian’s Mark Sweney, with details on “Syria’s Torture Machine,” a graphic Channel 4 documentary scheduled to air December 19.
- Mother Jones’s Hamed Aleaziz, on whether or not a U.S. firm purposely misled reporters on their involvement with internet filtering in Syria.
[Photos: A protester marches during a protest organized by Lebanese and Syrians living in Lebanon on December 2. Credit: Omar Ibrahim/Reuters; protesters in Lebanon carry a picture depicting President Assad with a rope around his neck, on December 2. The Arabic script under the picture reads: “Very soon”. Credit: Omar Ibrahim/Reuters; a Syrian performer hangs from hooks while holding his national flag in front of a giant picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a show of endurance during a pro-regime rally in Damascus on December 2. Credit: AFP/Getty Images]