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Statement to the Syrian Arab Republic

The second UPR of the Syrian Arab Republic was held on 31 October 2016. Below is the statement provided by Norway in connection with the review.         

President,

Norway welcomesthe Syrian delegation.

We are extremely concerned about the many reports, including from the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, of systematic and gross violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law by the authorities throughout the country.

Norway recommends:

1.  An immediate cessation of all aerial bombardments over Aleppo.

2. That the Syrian government provide immediate, full, unhindered and sustained humanitarian access to the country.

3. An immediate end to all acts of torture and to stop the arrests of human rights defenders, journalists and political dissidents.

According to the mentioned reports, the government forces continue to carry out brutal attacks and aerial bombardments against civilians as well as medical facilities and personnel. The government has enforced lengthy sieges of towns, trapping over 800 000 civilians and depriving them of basic needs. There are also continuous reports of arbitrary arrests and continued detention of thousands of individuals. Human rights defenders and journalists are particularly targeted. These reports and those that show that thousands of detainees die in custody following torture and the habitual use of torture as a tool, are shocking. Needless to say, arbitrary detention and the use of torture against detained persons are unlawful under international law, and anyone responsible for such acts must be held accountable. Norway’s recommendations from Syria’s UPR in 2011 also still stand. None have been fulfilled.

While this UPR focuses on the responsibilities of the Syrian authorities, gross violations and abuses of human rights occur throughout the country by several parties to the conflict. We strongly condemn terrorist acts and violence committed by ISIL and other terrorist organizations, and condemn in the strongest terms the continued abuses and violations of human rights in Syria. We urge all parties to the conflict to respect international law, including humanitarian law and human rights.

Thank you.