CHINA / National

Diplomat condemns human rights violations in Mideast conflict
Updated: 2006-08-11 21:21

GENEVA -- A senior Chinese diplomat on Friday strongly criticized the "systemic" human rights violations in the continuing conflict between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

"Such severe and systemic violations of human rights are intolerable," said Sha Zukang, Chinese ambassador to the UN Office in Geneva.

Sha was addressing a special session of the UN Human Rights Council which was convened at the request of Arab and Islamic countries and supported by many other members of the 47-member council.

"China condemns all actions that destabilize the Mideast situation, it condemns all attacks on civilians and civilian facilities, and calls on related parties to immediately halt all hostilities," Sha said.

So far more than 1,000 Lebanese and over 100 Israelis have been killed in the five-week-old conflict, while millions of people in southern Lebanon have been displaced, Sha noted.

He said both Israel and Hezbollah should exercise the utmost restraint and prevent the crisis from worsening.

The two parties should strictly observe international humanitarian law, not target civilians in their attacks, and provide help and security for humanitarian aid efforts, he said.

Sha also urged the new Human Rights Council, which replaced the Human Rights Commission in June, to investigate and prevent human rights violations in the ongoing conflict in order to maintain its credibility and effectiveness.

He added that China would continue its diplomatic efforts to help seek an appropriate solution to the conflict.