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Russia opposes use of UN Human Rights Council mechanisms in investigating Houla massacre

June 01, 2012, 20:35 UTC+3

Russia opposes a Houla massacre investigation with mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council

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GENEVA, June 1 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia opposes a Houla massacre investigation with mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council; it thinks that the UN Monitoring Mission in Syria should investigate that tragedy, Russian Permanent Representative to the Geneva headquarters of the UN and other international organizations Alexei Borodavkin said at a special session of the UN main human rights body on Friday. The session was dedicated to the May 25 events in Houla, a suburb of Homs.

“We object to using this Council again for starting up the military scenario in Syria based on foreign interference,” he said. “It is extremely important not to anticipate the outcome of the Houla crime investigation held by the UN Observation Mission jointly with national authorities,” he said. “The UN Human Rights Council should not impede the investigation or create duplicating mandates.”

Borodavkin called counterproductive the idea to call UN/LAS Envoy for Syria Kofi Annan to the UN Human Rights Council for a briefing, as “his exclusively difficult and delicate diplomatic work does not imply public discussions.”

“We are extremely concerned over the attempts of certain countries not to wait until the result of the UN Observation Mission investigation of the Houla incident but to name culprits and use the tragedy in unilateral interests and for thwarting the Kofi Annan plan,” he said. He described a draft final resolution of the special session of the UN Human Rights Council as “an element of the implementation of this strategy.”

“The only way out of the Syrian crisis, including its human rights component, is demilitarization of the conflict through pressure on the sides for the termination of violence and unwavering support to the Kofi Annan plan. Russia will stick to this position and calls on other states to do the same,” Borodavkin stressed.

The resolution was drafted by Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United States and the European Union and supported by the majority of members of the UN Human Rights Council. The document demands to investigate the Houla events. The mission may be entrusted to the commission formed in August to investigate possible violations of human rights in Syria.

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