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UN Human Rights Body Condemns Syrian Crackdown

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
A UN General Assembly's human rights committee has condemned the Syrian government's deadly crackdown on protests.

The resolution, backed by Western nations and a number of Arab member states, passed by 122 votes to 13, with 41 abstentions.

It cites violations such as: arbitrary executions; excessive use of force; the killing and persecution of protesters and human rights defenders; arbitrary detention; forced disappearances; and the torture and ill-treatment of detainees, including children.

Syria's ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Ja'afari had called the draft of the resolution a "declaration of war."

The resolution, which will be sent to the General Assembly for a final vote later on, is the latest development in a wave of international pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Earlier on November 22, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down and put an end to the bloody repression against protesters.

Erdogan speaking at a meeting of his ruling AK Party in Ankara, warned Assad that he should learn his lesson from the violent demise of other dictators:

"If you want to see somebody who has fought against his own people until death, look at Nazi Germany, look at Hitler, Mussolini, Romania's Nicolae Ceausescu," he said.

"If you don't draw lessons from these, then look at the Libyan leader who was killed just 32 days ago after pointing guns at his own people and using the same expressions as you."

The UN estimates that more than 3,500 people have been killed since the Syrian regime's crackdown on protesters began in March.

compiled from agency reports

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