Diplomats Call Syrian Toll Increase ‘Distressing’

Posted December 12th, 2011 at 10:45 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Several U.N. Security Council members are expressing distress after the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights informed them at a meeting that the death toll from unrest in Syria has surpassed 5,000.

The U.S. deputy permanent representative, Rosemary DiCarlo, said the human rights crisis in Syria is a threat to international peace and security. She said the U.N.'s account of the death toll in Syria has more than doubled in the past four months, and that it is “unconscionable” that the Security Council has not spoken out about the situation recently.

Germany's ambassador to the U.N. Peter Wittig said his country echoes the assessment that Syrian security forces have committed crimes against humanity this year. He added that the briefing indicates there is a “consistent pattern” as a “state policy” when it comes to the crackdown on civilians.

Britain's ambassador to the U.N. Mark Lyall Grant said it was the “most horrifying briefing” in the the Security Council over the past two years. He said the situation is deteriorating with a military buildup in Homs and tens of thousands of detentions, torturings and rapes.

All representatives expressed the need to collaborate with the Arab League in what Germany's ambassador to the U.N. called a “regional crisis of a serious magnitude.

After the briefing, Human Rights Watch issued a statement that “inaction is not an option anymore. The rights group added that “history will judge harshly those who still choose to look the other way” during the Syrian tragedy.