Friday, 24 February 2012

Situation deteriorates in Syria

A practical call by the ICRC for a daily 2-hour ceasefire. Report summary below.
The human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic has deteriorated significantly since November 2011, causing further suffering to the Syrian people. Widespread violence and increasingly aggravated socio-economic conditions have left many communities in a perilous state. Meeting basic needs to sustain everyday life has become increasingly difficult.
The present situation risks further radicalizing the population, deepening inter-communal tensions and eroding the fabric of society. Divisions among the international community complicate the prospects for ending the violence.  
The Government has manifestly failed in its responsibility to protect its people. Since November 2011, its forces have committed more widespread, systematic and gross human rights violations. Anti-Government groups have also committed abuses, although not comparable in scale and organization to those carried out by the State. 
The commission calls for an end to gross violations and related impunity, and recommends that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic continue to monitor gross human rights violations with a view to ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable. In cooperation with the Special Rapporteur, OHCHR should maintain and update the confidential database established by the commission. 
The commission also recommends the initiation of an inclusive political dialogue, bringing together the Government, the opposition and other anti-Government actors to negotiate an end to the violence, to ensure respect for human rights and to address the legitimate demands of the Syrian people. A contact group composed of States with diverse positions on the situation should be established to initiate a process leading to such a dialogue. 
Reconciliation and accountability will be achieved only if there are credible consultations with the population, including women and minorities, as well as with victims. Profound political, justice and security sector reforms must also be undertaken.

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