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Syria in the dock at UN rights body

The crackdown in Syria has been under discussion at a special session of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council.

The United States envoy said on Monday that the meeting underscored the growing international isolation of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Switzerland has “decisively condemned” human rights violations in the country.

Swiss UN Ambassador Jürg Lauber added that Bern supported - as do the US, the European Union and Arab countries - the setting up of an international inquiry into alleged atrocities by Syrian government forces. He also called for an end to the violent repression.

The session on Syria at the UN’s top human rights body is being held only days after a UN investigation said that the Syrian government’s five-month crackdown on opposition demonstrators might amount to crimes against humanity.

Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui, the Syrian ambassador to the UN, is expected to defend his government at the council.

The special session, which had a later start than planned, is due to continue on Tuesday. and agencies

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