India votes for independent probe in Houla massacre

New Delhi, Jun 1: India on Friday voted in favour of UN Human Rights Council resolution to order an independent probe into the recent massacre in Syria's Houla's city. "We expect that the Commission of Inquiry will be able to identify those responsible for these heinous attacks and provide clarity on the events that led to it," Indian envoy to the Geneva-based Council said while explaining India's vote in favour of the resolution.

"We sincerely hope all concerned will cooperate to ensure an objective process of inquiry into these terrible events," the envoy said. India has consistently supported all efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis through an inclusive Syrian-led process and has backed the mission of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan. "We strongly condemn the El-Houla incident, which has resulted in death of over a hundred innocent civilians including women and children and have, therefore, intended to vote for this resolution. The incident underscores what the situation can lead to if there is any further delay in the complete cessation of violence," the Indian envoy said.

"We strongly believe that all parties need to abjure violence for there to be a genuine chance for a realistic and lasting solution to the Syrian crisis. We urge all sides to comply with their obligations under the Annan plan," the envoy said. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the Houla massacre could constitute a "crime against humanity".

Forty-one of the 47-member council backed a call urging an investigation by the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, set up by the council last year to gather evidence on alleged rights abuses there. Only Russia, China and Cuba voted against the resolution which they said was "unbalanced" as it presumed the guilt of the Syrian authorities. Ecuador and Uganda abstained while the Philippines was absent.


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