UN rights body set to call for full Houla inquiry

By REUTERS
June 1, 2012 02:00
1 minute read.

GENEVA - The top UN human rights body is set to call on Friday for a full UN inquiry into a massacre in the Syrian region of Houla after putting initial blame on government bombardment and gunmen loyal to President Bashar Assad, diplomats said.

The 47-state forum in Geneva holds an emergency session on Friday - its fourth on Syria in a year - following last week's slaughter of at least 108 people, nearly half of them children.

A draft resolution, circulated late on Thursday at the UN Human Rights Council, condemns the "killings confirmed by U.N. observers" in attacks that involved "the wanton killings of civilians by shooting at close range and by severe physical abuse by pro-regime elements and a series of government artillery and tank shellings of a residential neighborhood".

The Council, which has repeatedly condemned Syria for its crackdown, is likely to adopt the resolution by a wide margin following international outrage at the killings, even if countries including China, Cuba and Russia may vote against it as in the past, Arab and Western diplomats said.

But the text, co-sponsored by the United States, Qatar and Turkey, was not strong enough to win the backing of the European Union, diplomats said.


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