Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

UN human rights body condemns Syria

This image from amateur video released by Shaam News Network purports to show the bodies of Syrian workers killed near Qusair(AP)

The UN's top human rights body has voted to condemn Syria over the killing of more than 100 civilians last week.

The 47-nation body approved with 41 votes against three a resolution blaming "pro-regime elements" and government troops for the massacre in the Houla region that sparked international outrage.

Russia, China and Cuba voted against the US-backed resolution. Two countries abstained and one member did not vote.

The resolution also call for an "international, transparent, independent and prompt investigation" into what happened and echoes calls by UN rights chief Navi Pillay for the UN Security Council to consider referring Syria to the International Criminal Court.

The move came after activists reported that gunmen have killed 11 workers at a state factory in central Syria.

The shooting near the town of Qusair in Homs province happened as the fertiliser workers were on their way to their jobs in a bus that came under fire, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A pro-government Facebook page, the Homs News Network, posted photos of 11 men on the floor of what appeared to be a classroom. It blamed the rebel Free Syrian Army, saying the workers were killed for being state employees. The opposition blamed the government.

On Thursday, 13 bound corpses, many apparently shot execution-style, were found in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour near the Iraqi border. The men were believed to be workers for an oil company. It was unclear who killed them.

More than 100 people were killed during a massacre in a cluster of villages known as Houla last week. Many of the dead were women and children gunned down inside their homes.

The massacre brought immediate worldwide condemnation. The regime and anti-government activists have blamed each other.

www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/ (UN Human Rights Council)

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