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UN report covers up militants’ crimes against Syrian women — Russian diplomat

April 17, 2018, 7:14 UTC+3 UN

Russia's deputy UN envoy said the report "does not make a single mention of the fundamental change in the security situation in Syria"

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UN, April 17. /TASS/. The new UN report on conflict-related sexual violence failed to offer a complete picture of terrorists’ crimes against women in Syria and ignored the fundamental change in the security situation in the country, a Russian diplomat said on Monday.

Speaking at the UN Security Council’s meeting to discuss the report, prepared by Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said the 47-page document contains "unhealthy attempts to use the issue of conflict-related sexual violence in achieving small political goals."

"In particular, the chapter on Syria seriously mitigates the problem of violence against women and girls by militants of the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) and other organizations terrorizing this country," the Russian diplomat said.

According to Polyansky, the information in the report offers an incomplete picture of those atrocities.

"How should this be treated? How will militants and terrorists react to this cowardice? Maybe they will think that their crimes in Syria can stay unnoticed by the international community and can therefore be continued?" he said.

He stressed that the report "does not make a single mention of the fundamental change in the security situation in Syria", including "the liberation of most of the country from terrorists."

The document also fails to mention that "a large number of civilians, mostly women and children, including victims of sexual violence, have been freed from militants as a result of difficult and careful work," the Russian diplomat said

"More than 165,000 people were evacuated from Eastern Ghouta alone when the hostilities were still in the active phase," he added.

"One-sided approaches, understatements and hushing up facts can only damage the special envoy’s mandate and decrease efficiency of efforts against conflict-related sexual violence," Polyansky said.

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