Syria has consistently blamed "armed terrorist gangs" for the anti-regime unrest that broke out in March 2011
An image taken from a video uploaded on YouTube allegedly shows a vehicle that was destroyed as Syrian forces shelled the Qusur neighbourhood on April 5. AFP cannot independently verify this image. Syria has lashed out at the UN high commissioner for human rights, accusing her of turning a blind eye to "terrorism" funded from abroad. © - AFP/YouTube
Syria has consistently blamed
AFP
Last updated: April 6, 2012

Syria says UN rights chief ignores terrorism

Syria lashed out at the UN high commissioner for human rights on Friday, accusing her of turning a blind eye to "terrorism" funded from abroad.

Citing a foreign ministry letter to Navi Pillay, state news agency SANA said her "bias against Syria has become evident as she turns a blind eye to terrorism targeting the Syrian people at the hands of armed groups with an external funding."

The government has consistently blamed "armed terrorist gangs" for the anti-regime unrest that broke out in March 2011 and that activists say has killed more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians.

Protests began peacefully but, in reaction to a fierce crackdown by government forces, the movement gradually took on a militant face and has evolved into an armed revolt led by army deserters.

SANA said Pillay "disregards the ample evidence of crimes against humanity perpetrated by the armed groups" and has chosen "instead to compile lies and fabrications and market them as if they were facts without bothering to verify them."

It did not give specifics, but did say she remained "non-committal as regards 6,143 Syrian citizens killed by terrorist groups and 1,590 citizens who were kidnapped."

In a BBC interview last month, Pillay said there was enough evidence to bring human rights charges against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad over the crackdown.

She said the president's role as commander of the security forces left him responsible for their actions during the unrest.

She accused the regime of systematically targetting children and argued the army's use of heavy weapons against civilians in densely populated areas was a crime under international law.

Pillay said the UN Security Council now had enough reliable evidence to warrant a referral to the International Criminal Court.

The foreign ministry accused her of failing to stick "to objectivity and professionalism as it would have helped in preventing killing more Syrians."

Specifically, it said she rejected "considering the acts of terrorist groups as crimes against humanity... and chose instead to level this accusation at the state, which is doing its duty in protecting its own people."

The ministry said "Syria is committed to its responsibility in probing all allegations of human rights violations, but the commissioner hasn't shared any of the allegations it received, nor has it worked to provide national or even peaceful solutions."

blog comments powered by Disqus
Stay Connected
twitter icon Twitter 13,558 linkedin icon LinkedIn 463
facebook icon Facebook 87,173 google+ icon Google+ 272