1.In the present report, the independent international commission of inquiry on theSyrian Arab Republic
sets out its findings based on investigations conducted from 15 Mayto 15 July 2013.2.In its resolution 22/24, the Human Rights Council extended the mandate originallyestablished by the Council in its resolution S-17/1 for a period of one year.3.The present report should be read in conjunction with the previous reports of thecommission.
4.On 21 June 2013, the commission was invited to brief the Security Council on thesituation in the Syrian Arab Republic. On 29 July, pursuant to General Assembly resolution67/262, the Chairperson of the commission briefed the Assembly on the situation of humanrights in the Syrian Arab Republic.
5.The commission’s ability to reach victims from all sides and to present a full pictureof the conflict was significantly curtailed by the denial of access to the Syrian ArabRepublic. A thorough investigation requires access to the location of incidents, to allavailable information and to all available witnesses. Recent missions to the country by theSpecial Representative of the Secretary-General for Children in Armed Conflict and theUnited Nations investigation mission to investigate allegations of the use of chemicalweapons give rise to hopes that the commission will be able to visit the country in the near future.6.On 2 July, the commission addressed a request to the Permanent Mission of theSyrian Arab Republic in which it reiterated its request to have access to the country andsought information on the events in Al Qusayr in May and June (see annex I). On 16 July,the commission addressed a request to the Minister for Foreign Affairs that the members of the commission be granted access to the Syrian Arab Republic to examine the modalitiesfor a future visit. No responses were received. On 5 August, a note verbale was sent to thePermanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations requestinginformation from the Government.
7.The methodology employed for the present report was based on the standard practices of commissions of inquiry and human rights investigations, adapted to the abovechallenge. The commission relied primarily on first-hand accounts to corroborate itsfindings.8.The information contained in the present report is based on 258 interviewsconducted in the region and from Geneva, including via Skype and telephone. The totalnumber of interviews conducted since the mandate began in September 2011 now stands at2,091.
The commissioners are Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro (Chairperson), Karen Koning AbuZayd,Vitit Muntarbhorn and Carla Del Ponte.
S-17/2/Add.1, A/HRC/19/69, A/HRC/21/50, A/HRC/22/59 and A/HRC/23/58.