Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 27th Regular Session

Item 4
Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Syria

Statement by Australia
16 September 2014

Australia thanks the Commission of Inquiry for its report.

The parties to this conflict have flagrantly abused the human rights of Syrians for years, creating the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. This latest report documents a whole new level of brutality perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.

Australia deplores ISIL’s barbarity: public executions, including by beheading, crucifixion and the stoning of women; the abduction of children; amputation as punishment for theft; lashing for men for failing to observe Ramadan and for women for not covering their face; targeting of religious minorities; and the recruitment of children, including for suicide-bombing.

We should not lose sight of the continued, appalling crimes of the Assad regime, which has escalated its use of aerial bombardment, shelling and siege tactics against civilian neighbourhoods. Evidence continues to mount of the regime’s widespread use of torture, arbitrary detention and killing of detainees. Other parties to the conflict, including anti-government armed groups, are also responsible for killings of civilians, torture, targeting women and recruiting children.

This report underlines the necessity that the situation in Syria be referred to the International Criminal Court, for which Australia voted in the Security Council in May. All parties to the conflict must comply with their obligations under Security Council resolutions 2139 and 2165.