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UN rights chief condemns Arab Spring "brutality"

UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay has strongly criticised Libya and Syria at the start of the latest session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

This content was published on May 30, 2011 - 11:13
swissinfo.ch and agencies

Pillay told the meeting on Monday that the “brutality and scale” of Libyan and Syrian crackdowns on uprisings had been “particularly shocking in their serious contempt for human rights”.

Libya and Syria, as well as Bahrain and Yemen, had shown excessive force in suppressing demonstrations, which was only exacerbating tensions, she said. The “repression and extreme violence” by security forces seemed set to continue.

Pillay called on authorities in each country to hold talks with protestors and for Syria to respond to the Council’s request to send a fact-finding mission to the country to assess its human rights situation.

Elsewhere, Tunisia and Egypt should be encouraged in their democratic reforms, she urged.     

The Council session lasts until June 17. On the agenda will be two reports into the human rights situation in Libya and Ivory Coast.

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