Parliamentary Question: Call for strong and united EU position at the Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic


Parliamentary questions

10 May 2011 E-004553/2011   Question for written answer to the Commission Rule 117 Marietje Schaake (ALDE)  Subject: Call for strong and united EU position at the Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic Since 16 March 2011, the Syrian authorities have committed severe human rights violations, including the murder and torture of civilians, apparently carried out by members of the security forces as part of a widespread and systematic attack on the civilian population. Given that such violations amount to crimes against humanity, given the disappointing outcome of the UN Security Council on 27 April 2011, and with reference to my previous question calling for targeted EU sanctions to end violence in Syria (E‑4407/2011 submitted on 26 April 2011), can the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy answer the following questions? 1. Does she agree that it is the Syrian authorities’ responsibility to protect the population’s rights to life, liberty and security but that if their security is not guaranteed it becomes the responsibility of the international community to hold to account those responsible for attacks on civilians in Syria, including by forces under Government control? 2. Does she agree that allegations of crimes against humanity committed by the Syrian authorities need to be investigated? If not, why not? 3. In view of the Special Session of the UNHRC on the situation in Syria on 29 April 2011, will she call upon the members of the UNHRC to request that the Security Council refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court? If not, why not? 4. Should referral to the ICC prove not to be feasible, and following the UN Secretary-General’s call for an independent investigation, does she intend to push for another form of independent investigation such as a commission of inquiry? If not, why not? 5. With regard to Syria’s alleged bid for a seat on the UNHRC, will she encourage the Syrian regime to withdraw its nomination? Will she actively engage with neighbouring countries, in particular Egypt and Tunisia, to discourage Syria from becoming a member, and simultaneously encourage other regimes in the region with a more credible human rights record to seek UNHRC membership for the upcoming term? If not, why not? 6. Will she actively engage with the Russian Federation, a like-minded partner of the EU, with the aim of securing Russian support for a strong resolution at the UNHRC? If not, why not? 7. Will she engage with the Arab League — and particularly those members, such as Jordan, that are also UNHRC members — to condemn the violations committed in Syria, as they did in the case of Libya, and to end their support for Syria joining the Council in May? If not, why not? Please find the answer here.