UN Council Condemns 'Outrageous' Houla Massacre

Only Russia, China, and Cuba vote against it
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2012 2:35 PM CDT
Fayssal al-Hamwi, Syria's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, attends a special session of the Human Rights Council, June 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

(Newser) – The UN Human Rights Council sent Syria its harshest rebuke yet in an emergency meeting on the Houla massacre today, approving a resolution to condemn "in the strongest possible terms such an outrageous use of force against the civilian population." Almost the entire 47-nation council approved the US- and Arab-led measure, with only Russia, China, and Cuba voting nay, and Uganda and Ecuador abstaining, the AP reports.

Syria's delegation strongly condemned the resolution, with one deputy ambassador calling it "tantamount to killing the victims (of Houla) again." The resolution orders an expert panel to conduct an "international, transparent, independent, and prompt investigation" into the massacre. The Security Council could then use its findings to refer a crimes against humanity case to the International Criminal Court. Of course, that would have to get past Russia, which has stood by Bashar al-Assad. (Click for one reason why.) Putin today said he'd rejected the resolution because its text was "unbalanced."

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