UN Commission of Inquiry updates on conflict escalation and its consequences in Syria


Today, Mr. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry orally updated the Human Rights Council on the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic for over seven years. His statement started with reference to fragility of ceasefire in the demilitarized zone of northwest Syria and an upsurge in fighting, predominantly around southern Idlib, northern Hama, and western Aleppo governorates. In addition to a number of serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law as well as ignoring of universally recognized humanitarian principles by all parties, the Chair underlined the starvation of civilians and deaths of children in sieges; the disappearance of tens of thousands; the prolonged incommunicado detention of suspected ISIL fighters; the lack of humanitarian assistance to millions of displaced, leading to preventable deaths;  and the stripping of nationalities and refusal to repatriate

nationals without due process to prevent their return, or approving their transfer to countries where they may be subject to torture, ill-treatment, or the death penalty in violation of the principle of non-refoulement.
Mr. Pinheiro praised the initiative of the Kuwaiti presidency of the Security Council and its first ever resolution on missing persons in armed conflict – Resolution 2474 thus “lending its voice to the obligations that require all parties to the conflict to account for people reported missing and to provide family members with any information they may have on their fate”.

In response during time given to Syria as the country concerned, the Syrian delegate labelled the interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry as monologue to distort image of Syria by group of interested states and abstained from commenting on contents as considered it repetitive. Furthermore, the delegate accused the UK and US in bombardments killing civilians and denounced those sponsoring terrorism.

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