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Assad 'has destroyed Syrian civilisation' Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Assad 'has destroyed Syrian civilisation'

UN says Assad's regime is responsible for 95 percent of civilian deaths [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 November, 2016

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The first review in five years of Syria's human rights record has been described as 'like no other' as UN Human Rights Council members condemn the cruelty of Assad's regime.
The first review in five years of Syria's human rights record has found President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for an "abomination" of violations.

An estimated 400,000 have been killed in the fighting, the majority at the hands of his regime and its backers, it reported.

"After millennia, this Syrian government led by President Assad succeeded in just a few years to utterly destroy the entire meaning of the Syrian civilisation," said Roderick van Schreven, the Netherlands ambassador to the UN.

"We face today not a legitimate government seeking to improve human rights, but a vicious regime waging war on its own people," added Julian Braithwaite, the UK's mission to the UN in Geneva, who described the Universal Periodic Review as "like no other".

The UN Human Rights Council met on Monday for a three-hour discussion of Syria's human rights record, as part of a five-yearly review it undertakes of all 193 UN member state.

We face today not a legitimate government seeking to improve human rights, but a vicious regime waging war on its own people

"The UK utterly condemns the constant and appalling abuse of human rights in Syria," Braithwaite added.

"Artillery, barrel bombs, chemical and incendiary weapons are killing civilians and destroying schools and hospitals.

"Syria continues the arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and mistreatment of hundreds of thousands of its own people, while callously using starvation as a weapon of war."

"These actions are fuelling terrorism, not tackling it and must cease."

It recommended two demands: to end attacks on civilians and grant humanitarian organisations and human rights monitors "unfettered access" to the country; and to release thousands of Syrians unlawfully detained, particularly women and children.

Van Schreven added: "If we want the Syrian population to have any kind of future, accountability is non-negotiable.

"All these violations have been systematically documented and the Netherlands will continue to support this process of evidence gathering, until this regime will one day be held accountable."

The General Assembly recently voted Russia off the UN Human Rights Council, a stunning rebuke to the country which is increasingly being accused of war crimes over its actions in Syria.

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