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On Syria, S. Korea Admits Rebels' Abuse But Calls Resolution Balanced

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 29, updated -- In the "urgent" debate on Syria at the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday, South Korea acknowledged abuses by the opposition but called the resolution drafted by Qatar, Turkey and the US "balanced."

Many disagreed with that. India noted that the draft ignored rebels' misdeeds and was "one-sided."

Russia called the draft "counter-productive," questioning why if the US was a co-drafter the Geneva conference the US and Russia are talking about is not mentioned in the HRC draft. Some wondered: did Qatar and Turkey not want it in?

The UK, represented by former Deputy at the UN Karen Pierce, talked against about referring Syria to the International Criminal Court, for both sides. But considering the case of Cote d'Ivoire, the ICC has yet to act on the Ouattara side's crimes.

The US' Ambassador Donahoe called for a halt to the assault on Al-Qusayr. Some wondered back: did the US ask for ceasefire in Sri Lanka, for example, as it closed in on the bloodbath on the beach?

Bahrain speechified about attacks on unarmed civilians -- something they know about quite well, having most recently blocked the visit of UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez.

Like the UAE which has been a pass-through, Qatar denounced the entry into Syria of weapons and militias, both of which it sponsors.

Italy cited the Paulo Sergio Pinheiro led panel on Syria, without mentioning that panel member Carla Del Ponte spoke of strong suspicions of chemical weapons use by the the opposition.

Spain, also in financial straights, acknowledged rebel abuses, perhaps a veiled reference to the eating or mere "mouthing" of hearts and lungs.

 It was noted that the fancy ceiling of the Human Rights Council was paid for by Spain, which misleadingly called it international humanitarian or development aid. There's a lot of urgent misleading, in the Human Rights Council. But we continue to cover it. Watch this site.

Update: after the speeches, the sponsors sought a postponement to 5:30 pm Geneva time. Watch this site.

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