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'White noise, white heat" : contribution to Roundtable on "the Syrian spring" and Human Rights

O'Donnell, Therese (2011) 'White noise, white heat" : contribution to Roundtable on "the Syrian spring" and Human Rights. Human Rights and Human Welfare.

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Abstract

The United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution on August 23 calling for the urgent dispatch of an independent commission to Syria to investigate possible violations of human rights. The clear aim is to identify those responsible, with a view to ensuring that perpetrators of violations, including those that may constitute crimes against humanity, are held accountable. Simultaneously, the US and several European nations called upon the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ruling circle. With a certain synchronicity, the European Union widened its sanctions against Syria. Days later, Libyan rebels opposing Gaddafi's rule had "taken" Tripoli and had surrounded his hometown of Sirte, heating up the debates as to who might eventually lead Libya. Indeed, as August turned into September, an international conference was convened in Paris to determine Libya's future. Events, and the reporting of events, have moved with both the speed and clarity of strobe lighting.