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UN slams atrocities in Syria in latest report

English.news.cn   2014-08-27 21:21:32

GENEVA, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Mass atrocities by government forces and non-state armed groups continued to take place in Syria, inflicting immeasurable suffering to civilians, said a United Nations report released on Wednesday.

The latest report, conducted by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria and covering investigations conducted from Jan. 20 to July 15 in 2014, recorded brutality and human cost of the on-going conflict on the basis of 480 interviews and documentary materials.

"Hundreds of civilians are dying each day as the fighting goes on with no regard to law or to conscience," said Paulo Pinheiro, chair of the commission, in the statement.

Vitit Muntarbhorn, member of the commission, concluded that the conflict has become much more multifaceted at present, with more actors, more frontlines and more battles between different groups.

In the report, the commission of inquiry stressed that the continuous influx of foreign fighters and the success of extremist groups, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), were among the factors which had contributed to a spillover of violence affecting international peace and stability.

Recent gains by ISIS in Iraq boosted its military capabilities, seriously affecting the power balance inside Syria both materially and psychologically, and the group established control over large area in northern and eastern Syria, especially the oil-rich Dayr az-Zawr, said the report.

The commission said: "members of ISIS have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Aleppo and Ar-Raqqah governorates including acts of torture, murder, enforced disappearances and forcible displacement."

"ISIS poses a clear and present danger to civilians, and particularly minorities, under its control in Syria and in the region," Pinheiro warned.

The report also noted that other non-state armed groups continued to commit violations, including summary executions and shelling deliberately targeting civilians, and many of these killings were massacres, as defined by the commission.

Meanwhile, the government continued to commit violations, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, with impunity, as the report noted.

It also stated that in April and May government forces allegedly used chemical agents --likely chlorine -- in eight separate incidents in western Syria.

The report slammed the disrespect by warring parties for the international laws, and also slapped the international community's failure in protecting civilians, in halting and preventing atrocities and in creating a path toward accountability, warning that the volatility in Syria "has grave implications for the entire region," and "risks of the conflict spreading further are palpable."

"Accountability must be part of any future settlement, if it is to result in an enduring peace. Too many lives have been lost and shattered," stated Pinheiro.

The investigators noted that they have listed names of people whom the panel believed should face international justice for the atrocities they have perpetrated, but said the list was confidential.

The investigation panel, established in August 2011, has been mandated by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to investigate and record all violations of international human rights law, and as well as allegations of crimes against humanity and war crimes perpetrated since March 2011 in the war-torn Syria. Its mandate was recently expanded to include "investigations of all massacres."

The latest eighth edition of a series reports from the commission was scheduled to be presented in September at HRC’s 27th session.

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Editor: Shen Qing
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