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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

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Pressure piles on Syria

To allow aid to civilians caught up in the bloodshed:

Switzerland: Senior diplomats at the UN Human Rights Council on Monday ramped up pressure on Syria to allow aid to civilians caught up in the bloodshed while warning the regime it will be held to account for "atrocities" against its people.

Council president Laura Dupuy Lasserre told delegates meeting in Geneva that it hoped for a "positive response" from Syrian authorities so that help could be delivered to those affected by the violence.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, one of around 90 government ministers and senior officials at the gathering, said his country wanted to see the regime dragged before the International Criminal Court.

"The international community should prepare the conditions for a referral to the ICC," he said.

British Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne also warned that those responsible for rights abuses since President Bashar al-Assad's regime launched a brutal crackdown on protesters in March would be held to account.

Browne called for "impartial, neutral access" for humanitarian groups and urged the council to pass a resolution proposing an extension of the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, established by the UN to investigate the situation there.

"Those responsible for the atrocities should be in no doubt -- they will be personally held to account for the appalling crimes they have committed," he said.

AFP

 

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