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Human Rights Watch hails India vote on Syria

India has voted for an Arab and Western-backed UN resolution denouncing the violent crackdown in Syria, but Russia and China vetoed it saying it amounted to advocating a regime change.

Updated: Feb 05, 2012, 16:40 PM IST

New Delhi: Human Rights Watch Sunday hailed India`s vote against Syria in the UN, saying New Delhi had "seen through Assad`s lies".

"By supporting the UN resolution, India has rightly supported the Syrian people," a spokeswoman for the US-based rights body said.

"India has seen through (Bashar) Assad`s lies, and shown itself to be an independent world leader," the spokeswoman said.

In a change in its stand, India Saturday voted in favour of an Arab League backed UN Security Council resolution calling on Assad to step down.

While Russia and China vetoed the resolution, the backers included the US, France, Britain and Pakistan.

Human Rights Watch said: "Vetoes by Moscow and Beijing four months ago were irresponsible. Today, after weeks of Russian diplomatic games-playing and in the middle of a bloodbath in Homs, they are simply incendiary.

"The death toll (of civilians ranged against Assad) had more than doubled in the last four months, and the risk is high that the Assad regime will see this double veto as a green light for even more violence."

Human Rights Watch accused Moscow of "unapologetically arming a government killing its own people" and providing it with diplomatic cover.

"In the end, by supporting this resolution, South Africa, India and Pakistan, rose to the occasion. They finally saw through Assad`s lies and sided with the Syrian people."