GENEVA / SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS REAX

07-Apr-2017 00:02:32
The United Nations human rights office (OHCHR) said the suspected chemical attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun “would amount to a war crime” if confirmed. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS REAX
TRT: 02:32
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 07 APRIL 2017, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior

07 APRIL 2017, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The use of chemical weapons, if confirmed, would amount to a war crime. And we have had several other incidents as well over the past year where chemical attacks have allegedly been used by Syrian forces in these instances.”
4. Close up, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Idlib and Raqqa are among the governorates that have been subjected to the most intensive bombing in recent weeks, the most intensive bombing to date. In March alone, we have managed to document that more than 130 civilians have reportedly been killed and another 170 injured in Raqqa, and more than 100 killed, a third of them children, in Idlib. The overwhelming majority of these deaths and injuries are reportedly due to airstrikes. And in other areas, airstrikes on the third and fourth April reportedly killed at least 42 civilians in eastern Ghouta and this includes women and children”.
6. Medium shot, journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“All parties to the conflict in Syria, inclu ding foreign states conducting airstrikes, must take constant care to spare civilian population by strictly respecting their obligations under IHL, under international humanitarian law, in particular the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions”.
8. Close up, journalist
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Spokesperson, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“The possession and use of chemical weaponry is abhorrent and a violation of laws and treaties and we condemn it.”
10. Wide shot, journalists
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Spokesperson, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“In relation to the incident where scores of people, women and children died due to what very strongly appears to be exposure to chemical substances, that we urge a fully investigation, echoing what the Secretary General has also called for, to get to the bottom of facts around what happened in Idlib”.
12. Med shot, journalists
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Alessandra Vellucci, Spokesperson, United Nations Information Office in Geneva (UNOG):
“The Special Envoy is following closely the situation, including through consultations with relevant interlocutors. The United Nations will provide additional comments on this issue as more information is brought to bear.”
14. Wide shot, press briefing room
STORYLINE
The United Nations human rights office (OHCHR) said the suspected chemical attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun “would amount to a war crime” if confirmed.

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani told reporters today (7 Apr) in Geneva that there were several other incidents over the past year where chemical attacks had “allegedly been used by Syrian forces.”

Shamdasani said that the attack on Khan Sheikhoun was, sadly, not an isolated incident, and that Idlib and Raqqa were among the governorates that had been subjected to “the most intensive bombing in recent weeks, the most intensive bombing to date.” She said during the month of March OHCHR document more than 130 civilians reportedly being killed and another 170 injured in Raqqa, and more than 100 killed, “a third of them children”, in Idlib with the overwhelming majority of these deaths and injuries reportedly due to airstrikes. She added that at least 42 civilians were killed in eastern Ghouta, including women and children, in airstrikes this week.

OHCHR reiterated its call on all to the conflict in Syria, “including foreign states conducting airstrikes” to take constant care to spare the civilian population by strictly respecting their obligations under international humanitarian law.

UN humanitarian office (OCHA) spokesperson, Jen Laerke, stressed that the “possession and use of chemical weaponry is abhorrent and a violation of laws and treaties.” He urged an investigation into the incident in Idlib “where scores of people, women and children died due to what very strongly appears to be exposed to chemical substances.”

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has begun a fact-finding mission whose results will be submitted in a report to the organisation’s members and States Parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

In regards to the US missile strike on a Syrian airbase early this morning, Alessandra Vellucci, Spokesperson for the UN Information Office in Geneva (UNOG), said the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura was following the situation closely, “including through consultations with relevant interlocutors.” She said the UN would provide additional comments on this issue as “more information is brought to bear.” De Mistura will be convening an emergency meeting of the Syria Ceasefire Taskforce later today, which he will be chairing. The meeting was requested by the Russian Federation co-chair and agreed upon by the United States, as co-chair.
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