On March 26, 2011, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Navi Pilay pressured the Syrian government to heed the demands of protestors instead of resorting to violent repression. Pilay cited events in the neighboring nations of Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia as evidence of a larger democratic movement, as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad considered lifting a 48-year-old state of emergency law. However, a March 2012 report by Paulo Pinheiro, chairperson of the UN-appointed Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, indicated that violence and human rights violations by Assad's regime continues, and that more than 500 children have been killed by government forces in the last year.
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