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UN rights council to meet on Syria on Monday

The UN Human Rights Council will hold an emergency session on Monday on the violence in Syria after 24 countries, including all four Arab members -- Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia -- backed the European Union's call for action.

world Updated: Aug 19, 2011 08:18 IST

The UN Human Rights Council will hold an emergency session on Monday on the violence in Syria after 24 countries, including all four Arab members -- Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia -- backed the European Union's call for action.

The United States, which along with the EU is expected to call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave power, according to Washington sources, was also among members endorsing the special session, a UN statement said.

The United Nations Human Rights Council held a first special session on Syria on April 29, early on during the crackdown by security forces on pro-democracy protesters.

The 47-member forum launched an inquiry into human rights violations at the time and the report by UN investigators who went to the region is to be issued later on Thursday by the office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

The report and session are expected to add pressure on Assad whose government has engaged in a crackdown against protesters seeking an end to his rule.

Pillay, a former UN war crimes judge who will address the Security Council in New York on Thursday, is expected to suggest that it refer Syria to the International Criminal Court, envoys said there on Wednesday.

Assad has told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that military and police operations against the protesters have stopped, but activists reported more bloodshed overnight.