Wien, 23. August 2011 Press release

Spindelegger: "Our patience with the Syrian leadership is running out"

UN Human Rights Council condemns violence in Syria and decides to establish an international investigation commission

Vienna, 23 August 2011 – In a resolution presented by Austria and the EU, the UN Human Rights Council, into which Austria was elected as a member in May this year, has today clearly and unmistakably condemned the continued violence by the Syrian regime against its own people and decided to establish an international investigation commission: "People in Syria are still being shot dead, incarcerated, and tortured only because they want to claim their right to freedom of expression. This is unacceptable“, said Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor Michael, expressing his concern about the continued brutal repression in Syria.

"I welcome the establishment of an international investigation commission by the Human Rights Council, because there is suspicion that crimes against humanity have been committed, which would also justify referring the case to the International Criminal Court" the Foreign Minister commented on the creation of an independent body of experts to be appointed soon. "The clear result of the vote on the resolution shows that the international community does not tolerate severe human rights violations", Spindelegger continued. The resolution was adopted by a clear majority of 33 votes in favour and only 4 against.

"Our patience with the Syrian leadership is running out. Since all calls by the international community to President Assad to end the violent repression have remained unheeded and the repeatedly announced reforms are yet to be implemented, he should resign. Austria, together with its partners in the EU, shall back and undertake all necessary steps to help the Syrian population in achieving its legitimate demands for respect of their human rights.”

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