GENEVA, Oct. 7 – As the UN Human Rights Council this morning began its quadrennial review of Syria’s human rights record, a coalition of 20 famous dissidents and rights groups today rejected Syria’s submission as “fictional,” and circulated a draft resolution to all 193 UNGA member states to “strongly condemn” Syria’s mass killing of its own citizens. Proposed UNGA Resolution on Situation of Human Rights in Syria.

The UN’s Third Committee on Human Rights meets this month in New York. Sponsors of the draft resolution include well-known former political prisoners Yang Jianli of China, Ahmad Batebi of Iran, Fidel Suarez Cruz and Berta Antunez of Cuba, Rebiya Kadeer of the Uyghur people and Grace Kwinjeh of Zimbabwe, as well as UN Watch, the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights, Human Rights Foundation and Viet Tan. The text was drafted at a recent summit of dissidents held in New York during the UN General Assembly, which included an opening address by Syrian rights activist Rami Nakhleh.

The draft resolution, circulated this morning to UN member states, urges the creation of a permanent UN investigator (Special Rapporteur) on the human rights situation in Syria.

The text “strongly condemns” the “ongoing, grave and systematic human rights Violations” by the Syrian authorities, including “arbitrary executions, excessive use of force, the killing and persecution of peaceful protesters and human rights defenders,arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment of detainees, including children.” Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, which heads the coalition, said that Syria’s submission to today’s UN review was “fictional,” and “insulting to the memory of more than 2,000 innocent Syrian citizens who sacrificed their lives for the basic values of human dignity and freedom from oppression.”

Neuer cited several examples of “Orwellian” statements in Syria’s submission:

● “All citizens have the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and protest…”

● “All citizens have the right to express their views freely and openly in the spoken or written word or by any other means”

● Syria described the recent peaceful protests as “criminal attacks against the nation and the people by armed terrorist groups”

● “The Syrian Arab Republic provides an environment in which civil society participation in national socio-economic development is encouraged”

● Syria “exercised the utmost self-restraint” and “refrained from shooting on groups in order to avoid killing innocent civilians.”

● “The enclosed report shows just how committed the Syrian Arab Republic is to promoting and protecting human rights…”

Neuer said Syria’s submission followed the “big lie approach to propaganda, which holds that the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed. But the regime is wrong, and its days are counted. We urge the UN to take action to hasten an end to the mass murder of Syria’s citizens.”

UN Watch