Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UN Human Rights Council 56 – UK statement for the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic [July 2024]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 3 July 2024.

UK statement for Interactive Dialogue on the oral update of the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. Delivered by the UK’s Permanent Representative to the WTO and UN, Simon Manley.

Thank you, Mr President.

Commissioners, thank you for your comprehensive assessment of human rights violations in Syria. In the fourteenth year of the conflict, human rights violations remain systematic and widespread.

The Syrian people continue to live in uncertainty and insecurity, without the protection of the rule of law. Access for humanitarian aid is precarious and civilians are all too often the innocent victims of violence and attacks by the Assad regime and its Russian allies and armed groups.

Mr President,

Syrian refugees have the right to return to Syria in a manner that is safe, voluntary and dignified. However, for those returning to Syria, an uncertain fate awaits. We are alarmed by reports of gross human rights violations and abuses suffered by returnees at the hands of the Syrian authorities and armed groups, including reports of returnees being arrested and arbitrarily detained. While the Syrian authorities continue to show such scant regard for human life and international law, it is simply not viable for people to return.

Commissioners, how can the international community support you in seeking accountability for those who have violated and abused the rights of detainees, including through arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and torture?