Statement on the Human Rights Council Resolution on Syria, which was adopted on 10/8/2021

On 10/8/2021, the Human Rights Council, as part of the work of its forty-eighth regular session held in Geneva, adopted a new resolution related to the human rights situation in Syria.

The resolution was supported by /23/ members, while /7/ members opposed it: China, Russia, Armenia, Bolivia, Cuba, Eritrea and Venezuela, with /17/ other members abstaining.

The resolution strongly condemns the continuation of gross human rights violations in Syria, and holds the Syrian government primarily responsible for these violations, especially in terms of the continued air raids on northwest Syria, the siege of Daraa al-Balad, and the targeting of medical facilities; It welcomes the work of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, the conclusions contained in its latest report, and its ongoing efforts in documenting the violations taking place. In this context, it also welcomed the efforts of countries that have begun to prosecute Syrians accused of gross human rights violations on their territory, in accordance with universal jurisdiction, and encouraged other countries to take similar steps.

The resolution also reaffirms the findings of the International Commission of Inquiry in its report, which considers that Syria does not yet provide a safe environment to which refugees can return in a sustainable and dignified manner.

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, welcoming the decision of the Human Rights Council, reiterates its call to intensify international efforts to put an end to impunity in Syria, and fully supports  the recommendation to establish a special mechanism to reveal the fate and whereabouts  of the missing, detained and forcibly disappeared.

In this regard, it is essential for SCM to emphasise what the resolution stipulates that Syria is an unsafe place for the return of refugees, hence, calls on all countries to respect their obligations under international law, and to refrain from forcibly deporting refugees, or exercise pressure on them to return to any area in Syria, for what constitutes a clear danger to their lives and safety.

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression stresses the need to support the peace process to implement UNSC Resolution 2254, as it is the internationally approved way to reach the transition of power in Syria, and to launch a national process for transitional justice, including the prosecution of perpetrators of gross human rights violations, and seeking the truth in order to reach reconciliation, compensations and reparations. SCM calls on the permanent member states of the Security Council to adopt the recommendations of the Human Rights Council contained in the resolution, so that they become binding on all parties in Syria.

Mazen Darwish

General Manager