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UN rights council calls for inquiry into recent events in Syria

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council [official website] passed [press release] a resolution [Text, PDF] on Monday calling for the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic to "urgently conduct a comprehensive and independent inquiry into the recent events in Eastern Ghouta."

The resolution passed with a vote of 29-4 with 14 abstaining. Those voting against the resolution included Burundi, China, Cuba and Venezuela. The resolution also condemns violation of international humanitarian law and denial of humanitarian access in the region. It also demands that "Syrian authorities allow free, unimpeded and sustained access by the United Nations and humanitarian operators to all people in need."

Syria has stated [Debate summary] that the resolution is politicized and the events occurring in Eastern Ghouta are in response to terrorist activities. Syria states that its response "protect[s] civilians and bring[s] an end to the arbitrary killing of Syrians."

The UN Council previously called [press release] for a 30-day cessation of hostilities on February 24. The UN has repeatedly condemned actions in Syria as being violations of human rights, including a February condemnation of attacks on medical facilities and personnel and a September condemnation [JURIST reports] against attacks on civilians. Human Rights Watch has also condemned [JURIST report] the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.

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