UN demands accountability over enforced disappearances in Syria

The UN Human Rights Council said those behind “massive scale” enforced disappearances in Syria would be held accountable.

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Several European countries, alongside the United States, Turkey and Qatar, put forward a resolution turning attention to the “consistent patterns of gross violations” as a second decade is entered in the Syrian conflict.

Adopted with the council’s 47 members in favor of the resolution, as opposed to 6 opposition and 15 abstaining, the resolution particularly raised concern about the fate of tens of thousands of people who have disappeared by force to this day.

Although Daesh/ISIS was heavily criticized to take part in involuntary or enforced disappearances, and related human rights violations and abuses, the Assad government was condemned the most for its role as the main perpetrator. The text underlined that violations were carried out consistently by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Investigators at the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, established on August 22, 2011, by the Human Rights Council commented that disappearances were used to “spread fear and eliminate dissents and as punishment.”

British Ambassador Simon Manley said the Assad government’s deliberate tactic of massive number of disappearances was “simply inexcusable.” Manley added that the regime has responsibility to provide information on the disappeared and “the means to end the suffering of the families and loved ones of these people”.

The resolution emphasized on the need for accountability and its importance in peace negotiations and peace-building processes.

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