BEIRUT, Lebanon — The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, called on Tuesday for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in Syria, the Associated Press reported.
Before storming out of the meeting, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations Fayssal al-Hamwi told the Human Rights Council: "The call for holding the session is part of a pre-established plan" that is "aimed at attacking the Syrian state and its institutions under the pretext of humanitarian needs."
Meanwhile, the Local Coordination Committees, an activist group, said at 6:00 p.m. local time that 65 people have been killed in today's violence.
UN political chief B. Lynn Pascoe became the first from the body to comment publicly on the casualty count in Syria in over a month. "Well over" 7,500 have been killed in over a year of violence there, she said, according to the AP. She said "credible" reports indicate about 100 Syrians are dying per day.
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The resolution, which will be voted on by the 47-member body with no legal power, was drafted by Arab delegations plus Turkey, with the "strong support" of the United States and European Union, said Reuters.
The renewed diplomatic calls came a day after Syrian opposition activists reported a massacre outside Homs, which has been under siege for nearly a month. The Washington Post reported that 64 bodies had been found, reportedly families shot dead by security forces when trying to flee the embattled city. A person inside Homs told the Post that cars were stopped at a checkpoint and families were put into buses and told they were being relocated to a "safe place."
"After a short distance, the elderly passengers were ordered off the buses, and the rest were driven away. On Monday morning, local residents discovered the bodies of the men; the whereabouts of the women and children who were with them are unknown," the Post wrote.
Today, a report in The New York Times indicated that Syrian ground troops might be pushing into Homs, which may signal the end of weeks of heavy artillery bombardment, or the first stages of a broader ground campaign to retake control of the city.
Naharnet reported the Tunisian president, Moncef Marzouki, said he is willing to grant asylum to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, offering a possible route out if Assad is ever forced from power.
"A political solution must be found, such as granting the Syrian president, his family and members of his regime judicial immunity and a place to seek refuge, which Russia could offer," Marzouki said Friday.
The Qatari foreign minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, called for arming Syria's opposition in the face of diplomatic inaction. See video below.