A U.N. General Assembly committee condemned Syria, Iran and North Korea for human rights violations in votes criticised by all three countries.
The Syria resolution approved on Tuesday blamed Syria’s government for “widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” accusing it of massacres, extrajudicial killings and the targeting of civilians.
It called on the government to halt the abuses and attacks on civilians. The resolution, which passed in a 132-12 vote, also condemned “any human rights abuses by armed opposition groups.” The Syrian government complained that the resolution singled it out for abuses in the 21-month conflict.
The committee responsible for social, humanitarian and cultural issues also voted 83-31 for a resolution accusing Iran of torture and criticising it for its frequent use of the death penalty and for gender inequality.
The North Korean resolution passed for the first time by consensus as even its ally China voted for the measure.
The resolution said the rights situation in North Korea was deteriorating despite a change in regime a year ago. It accused North Korea of abuses that included torture, arbitrary detentions, the use of prison camps and the death penalty for political and religious reasons, forced labour, and limits on freedom of expression and movement.
North Korea likened it to “political terrorism” and rejected it as politically motivated and pushed by the United States, which was one of the resolution’s 52 sponsors.
The General Assembly was expected to vote on the resolutions next month.