(AFP) – Jun 1, 2012
GENEVA — UN rights chief Navi Pillay said Friday that crimes against humanity may have been committed during the massacre in the Syrian town of Houla last week.
"These acts may amount to crimes against humanity and other international crimes," Pillay told a special session of the Human Rights Council, referring to the alleged role of the Syrian military and pro-government Shabiha paramilitary groups in the killing of 108 people at Houla.
She also warned that Syria and the entire region are in danger if a full-fledged conflict erupts in the country, and called on the international community to throw its weight behind the six-point peace plan brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.
"Otherwise, the situation in Syria might descend into a full-fledged conflict and the future of the country, as well as the region as a whole could be in grave danger," said the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Pillay, who is not in Geneva, reiterated a call for the UN Security Council to consider referring events in Syria to the International Criminal Court.
"We must make all efforts to end impunity, to ensure accountability for perpetrators, and to provide adequate and effective remedies for the victims," she said.
Pillay also voiced regret at the failure of Damascus to grant access to the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, the independent panel established last year by the rights council to investigate rights abuses.
The council was due on Friday to debate a call for the commission to probe the massacre of over 100 people in the Syrian town of Houla last week that triggered global horror and outrage.
Qatar, Turkey and the US have submitted a draft resolution which condemns the "outrageous" killing of 49 children in Houla and calls for a "comprehensive, independent and unfettered special inquiry".
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