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New report issued by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Syria (December 21, 2012)

The latest update of the report issued by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria once again sheds a harsh light on the tragedy being suffered by the Syrian people in the face of a regime that is prepared to use all forms of violence just to ensure its survival.

The commission confirms the continued increase in the level of violence in the fighting between the forces of the Damascus regime, which is freely using its military resources against the Syrian people, and the armed opposition groups.

The commission confirms massive violations of human rights and all rules of international humanitarian law, largely attributable to the Damascus regime’s forces. The commission of inquiry has also documented serious violations committed by the armed opposition groups but they bear no comparison to the scale of those committed by the government forces.

The report denounces the government’s use of heavy weapons against the opposition groups and the civilian populations in indiscriminate attacks involving a disproportionate level of violence. The government forces continue to directly target the civilian populations through their ground operations and their aerial bombings, in complete violation of the law of armed conflict.

The report also states that the government forces and the pro-government shabiha militia are increasingly carrying out summary executions of armed and non-armed individuals, as well as prisoners.

This report shows that a significant amount of evidence gives credence to the widespread use of torture in the regime’s detention centers. Together with the pro-government shabiha militia, “Military Security Branch 215” is identified as one of the bodies primarily responsible for the acts of torture, which are also being committed against children.

The report by the commission of inquiry confirms the scale of the suffering endured by an entire people as a result of the criminal obstinacy of a regime whose only goal is its own survival. Such a regime no longer has any legitimacy. Bashar al-Assad must leave and immediately make way for a transitional government that will respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people for freedom. France calls on the Syrian National Coalition to pledge that its affiliated armed groups will respect human rights and international humanitarian law. All those responsible - without exception - for the crimes denounced by the commission of inquiry must be brought to justice.


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