GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations top human rights forum strongly condemned Syria on Friday for "gross and systematic" violations by its forces, including executions, it said may amount to crimes against humanity.
The 47-member forum adopted a resolution put forward by the European Union by a vote of 37 states in favour and four against including China and Russia, with six abstentions.
The text called for the "main bodies" of the U.N. to consider a U.N. report which found that crimes of humanity had been committed and "take appropriate action".
It also established the new post of a special human rights investigator on Syria.
Syria's ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui, denounced the resolution as "politicised" and aimed at "closing the doors". He urged countries to vote against it.
The United States, which voted in favour, welcomed the result at the third special session held on Syria this year.
"We've set the stage in a very substantive way for strong action by the U.N. if other entities choose to take the opportunity," U.S. ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe told Reuters.
"The evidence we have seen leaves no doubt about the complicity of Syrian authorities and provides a very strong basis for accountability to go forward in other institutions where that is their mandate."
Asked whether this meant the International Criminal Court, she replied: "Absolutely, including the ICC if the Security Council chooses to refer this matter."
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Sophie Hares)
Trending On Reuters
Tens of thousands of people braved heavy rain and lined the streets of Singapore on Sunday to catch a last glimpse of founding PM Lee Kuan Yew as his funeral procession wound through the country he helped build. Full Article
- Diplomats and U.N. staff flee Yemen as Houthis target Aden
- Pakistan sends 747 jumbo jets to evacuate distraught nationals from Yemen
- Iran, powers struggle to overcome disputes in push for nuclear deal
- Tunisian forces kill nine militants in south before solidarity march
- Libya tells Arab summit arms embargo must be lifted to fight IS
Saudi-led air strikes target fresh Houthi advance on Aden - residents. Full Article