UNHRC Report on Syria Released as Arab League Prepares Sanctions

The United Nations Human Rights Council released the “Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.” The report, the “commission documents patterns of summary execution, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, torture, including sexual violence, as well as violations of children’s rights.” The report also states that “the substantial body of evidence gathered by the commission indicates that these gross violations of human rights have been committed by Syrian military and security forces since the beginning of the protests in March 2011. The commission is gravely concerned that crimes against humanity have been committed in different locations in the Syrian Arab Republic during the period under review.”  Approximately 220 victims and witnesses of alleged human rights violations were interviewed for the report, including civilians and defectors.

Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem called the Arab League sanctions against Syria “economic war” and has “hinted at retaliation.” Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour stated that Lebanon would not be implementing the sanctions that include “halting Arab government funding for projects in Syria, a stop to trade exchange with the Syrian government, and a travel ban on Syrian officials.”  Additionally, numbers compiled by the Jordan Chamber of Industry illustrate that the “trade exchange between Jordan and Syria rose by 14.8 percent over the past 9 months” and further expressed “hope that trade exchange between the two neighboring countries will not be affected by the political situation in Syria as well as the Arab economic sanctions.”

Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Shafka stated that, should the Assad Regime fall and should the Muslim Brotherhood gain power, they “would follow the Turkish model” of governance. Shafka emphasized that the Brotherhood “will not replace one dictatorship with another. We are against dictatorships.”