Syrian Opposition Coalition – Syria
Department of Media and Communications
October 10, 2020
Russia has a proven track record of war crimes and crimes against humanity, especially the atrocious crimes it is committing in our homeland, Syria, from targeting hospitals, schools, mosques, churches, public markets, civilian homes, and IDP camps, to covering up the Assad regime’s horrendous crimes, including its use of chemical weapons and its papering over of its crimes at the UN Security Council. This is not to mention Moscow’s history of propping up authoritarian regimes around the world, its suppression of activists demanding freedom in Russia itself, and its crackdown on dissidents abroad and murdering them with poison.
These are the accomplishments Russia has attached to its application for membership in the UN Human Rights Council, which it shamelessly submitted for vote at the UN General Assembly.
This criminal track record of support of tyranny, violations of human rights, the commission of crimes and the obstruction of accountability must not be ignored by members of the UN General Assembly as they vote to elect members of the UN Human Rights Council.
The international community, which is unable to protect victims and punish the perpetrators, must not reward criminals by admitting them to its committees and institutions. Instead, all possible legal and diplomatic measures must be taken to prevent this disgrace from occurring; protect the reputation of UN institutions; and prevent criminals from joining them.
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) reiterates the demands it has already made in its legal memorandum sent to the UN General Assembly on September 30, 2020 regarding refusal to grant Russia membership in the UN Human Rights Council due to its grave violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity it is committing it in Syria, Ukraine, and elsewhere. This rejection of giving Russia membership is also based on the membership criteria, including assessment of the contribution of the candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights, and according to UN Resolution No. 251/60.
The international acquiescence to Russian bullying over the past ten years has only given the Kremlin the green light to commit more crimes and opened the doors for further violations of international law. It is imperative, therefore, that the international community confront Putin’s policies and plans.