UN investigators report continuous human rights violations by Syrian gov’t, oppositionSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 21/12/2012 1:39 am in World / no comments
GENEVA, Dec. 20 — The International Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Syria said Thursday that the patterns of human rights and humanitarian law violations conducted by the Syrian government and armed opposition “have continued unabated”.
“Civilians have borne the brunt of escalating armed confrontations as the front lines between government forces and the armed oppositions have moved deeper into urban areas,” the commission said in an update which covered the period from Sept. 28 to Dec. 16.
Investigators continued to received reports of unlawful killing, the use of torture, the use of snipers which also put civilians under risk, attacks on protected objects, including cultural property and hospitals, and use of protected objects for military purposes by all parties to the conflict, it said.
“The use of cluster munitions in populated urban areas is currently under investigation,” said the update.
The commission said that the humanitarian situation in Syria has deteriorated rapidly during the reporting period.
It also pointed out that the conflict “has become overtly sectarian in nature”.
The CoI was established in September 2011 by the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate all alleged human rights violations since March 2011 in Syria, and was requested to probe into the Houla killings in a special session of the council on June 1.
It conducted investigations mainly through interviews and did several written and oral updates. It said in previous reports that both sides had committed war crimes.
The council decided to extend the mandate of the CoI on Sept. 28 and appointed two new investigators for the commission.