The Government has responded to a report published by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria which laid out the current human rights situation in the country.
Gareth Bayley, the UK Special Representative for Syria, said:
“The report by the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Syria makes grim reading: it details deliberate attacks against civilians, and unabated violations of human rights such as torture, illegal detentions, executions and sexual violence. It documents the breadth of barbarity carried out by the Asad regime against its own people, with deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and markets. The report also details the destruction of Syria’s cultural heritage by Daesh. Syria is being ripped apart by this widespread destruction, the fuelling of sectarian divisions, and the slaughter and scattering of its communities.
The COI must be allowed to continue gathering evidence so that one day Asad and other perpetrators of human rights abuses and possible war crimes can be held to account. There can be no lasting peace without justice; there must be no impunity”.
The summary of the report said:
“As the war is poised to enter its sixth year, its horrors are pervasive and everpresent. The lives of Syrian men, women and children have been ravaged as they suffer the destruction of their country and the devastation of the Syrian mosaic. As the conflict has intensified, civilians remain the primary victims, and are often the object of deliberate attacks by the warring parties.
Flagrant violations of human rights and international humanitarian law continue unabated, aggravated by blatant impunity. Relevant Security Council resolutions remain largely unheeded and unimplemented. Crimes against humanity continue to be committed by government forces and by Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS). War crimes by the belligerents are rampant.
The call for peace is imperative. Momentum must be sustained to ensure an all-inclusive, Syrian-led process to end the armed conflict and transition towards peace. Accountability is an essential part of this process.
Ensuring humanitarian access and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms remains paramount. Local and international actors, with their underlying constituencies, bear a shared responsibility to bring this process to fruition, while countering the spread of terrorism and extreme violence in the region”.