Bloodshed and suffering in Syria are intolerable, says UN human rights chief

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Syrian refugee children play beside tents in Domiz refugee camp. (Photo: UNHCR/B.Sokol)

The United Nations Human rights office (OHCHR) says the international community is failing to meet its fundamental obligations to the victims of the Syrian crisis by allowing the blatant violation of human rights to continue unpunished.

UN Human rights chief Navi Pillay says the violations amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity which cannot be allowed to go unpunished.

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Ms Pillay said anti- government forces are using civilians as human shields, while the Syrian government continues to use indiscriminate and disproportionate force in residential areas and targeting schools and hospitals.

She said the bloodshed and suffering in Syria are an intolerable affront to the human conscience.

“The accounts include allegations that certain opposition groups have forced young women and minor girls to marry combatants. And we continue to receive reports of anti-Government groups committing gruesome crimes such as torture and extrajudicial executions. I am 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.  Safe passage should be given to any civilians wishing to leave. Once again I must urge the Security Council to refer the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court. We must make it clear to both the Government and the armed opposition groups that there will be consequences for those responsible.”

The High Commissioner said the international community cannot continue to ignore pleas by Syrians for protection and assistance.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1.52″

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