UN condemns Syria, Kuwaiti lawmakers back rebels

UN rights body calls for an end to Syrian authorities' widespread, systematic violations of human rights, basic freedoms; UK shutters embassy citing security issues; Russia to meet Arab states on crisis.

March 1, 2012 12:25
2 minute read.
Damaged armored vehicle seen after Homs clashes

Homs after bombardment 390. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The United Nations Human Rights Council condemned Syria on Thursday for widespread violations that may amount to crimes against humanity and called for a halt to attacks against civilians, the same day as the United Kingdom pulled its diplomats from the country.

The 47-member forum, holding an urgent debate, voted by 37 states in favor, three against including China and Russia, and three abstentions, to adopt a resolution brought by Gulf countries with Western backing. Four delegations did not take part in the vote. Syria was not present.

Gulf countries, backed by Turkey, the European Union and United States, presented the resolution strongly condemning "the widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities."

Also Thursday, Kuwait's parliament said it would support the rebel Free Syria Army, and called on the Kuwaiti government to cut ties with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The parliament, which has limited legislative powers, also called for Assad to be prosecuted for crimes against his people.

The Free Syrian Army is composed mainly of Syrian soldiers who have defected and volunteer civilians.

Click for full JPost coverage

The United Kingdom announced Thursday that withdrew its diplomats from Syria and closed its embassy it for security reasons but is not breaking diplomatic ties with Damascus after months of violent political turmoil.

"We now judge that the deterioration of the security situation in Damascus puts our embassy staff and premises at risk, and have taken the decision to withdraw staff accordingly. Our ambassador and diplomatic staff left Syria on 29 February and will return to the UK shortly," Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement.

A Foreign Office spokesman said Britain had not broken diplomatic ties with Syria. "The (Syrian) embassy in London will remain open so we can have a channel of communication to the Syrian regime," he said.

Reengaging Russia

Foreign ministers from Gulf Arab countries will meet their Russian counterpart in Riyadh next week to discuss the Syrian conflict, Al Arabiya television reported on Thursday.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah told the regional news channel the meeting would take place next Wednesday.

Russia and China have twice used their vetoes to block UN Security Council resolutions on Syria, where repression of initially peaceful protests against Assad has spawned an armed insurrection.

The Gulf Cooperation Council - Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - said a month ago that its members would recall their ambassadors from Syria and expel the Syrian envoys in their capitals.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Anti-government protesters demonstrate on a street in central Ankara
June 16, 2013
Thousands take to streets of Istanbul, defy Erdogan