Mar. 1 - United Nations human rights body condemns the government of president Bashar al-Assad over human rights violations. Travis Brecher reports.
In a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday passed a resolution condemning Syria for widespread violations that may amount to crimes against humanity. It called for an immediate halt to attacks against civilians. The 47-member forum voted to adopt the resolution with 37 states in favour. China, Russia and Cuba voted against the resolution, while three other nations abstained. U.S. Human Rights Ambassador to the U.N. Eileen Chamberlain Donahue said those opposing the resolution are wrong. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. HUMAN RIGHTS AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N., EILEEN CHAMBERLAIN DONAHOE, SAYING: "I think the isolation of China, Russia and Cuba is sad but it was expected. The meaning of this vote is almost as important for those three countries as it is for the Assad regime. They are on the wrong side of history and I think that this outcome may help them understand that they're in the wrong". Russia's ambassador, meanwhile, said the vote is one-sided by only blaming the Syrian government for the violence. (SOUNDBITE)(Russian) RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR VLADIMIR ZHEGLOV SAYING: "The resolution before us is yet another example of one-sided, politicised approaches to the situation in Syria being pushed forward by some countries. The text is not a balanced one and, in a one-sided manner, it blames the Syrian government for the violence and it doesn't have any constructive signals that we need to find a political and diplomatic situation to the crisis." Syria's delegation appeared to boycott the talks after its ambassador stormed out of the summit on Tuesday. The Syrian seat remained empty on Thursday. According to the U.N., more than 7,500 civilians have been killed by Syrian security forces since a popular uprising in the country began nearly one year ago. Travis Brecher, Reuters