UN: Syrian officials should be sent to ICC

Pillay to address General Assembly session; World Health Organization reports "massive increase" in wounded in Syria; UN gives up on keeping tally of Syrian dead due to high level of violence.

By REUTERS
February 10, 2012 15:25
2 minute read.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Navi Pillay 311 R. (photo credit: Christian Hartmann / Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

GENEVA - Syrian officials suspected of committing or ordering crimes against humanity should face prosecution in the International Criminal Court (ICC), the United Nations human rights office said on Friday.

"We believe, and we've said it and we'll keep repeating it, that the case of Syria belongs in the International Criminal Court. This would give a very, very strong message to those running the show," Rupert Colville, spokesman for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, told a news briefing.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Pillay will address a UN General Assembly session on Syria being held in New York on Monday, Colville said. "I believe they are considering a resolution, what it will contain I don't know," he added.

Pillay, a former UN war crimes judge, called on Wednesday for urgent international action to protect civilians in Syria, saying she was appalled by the Syrian government's military onslaught on the city of Homs.

Twin bomb blasts hit military and security buildings in the northern city of Aleppo on Friday, killing 25 people in the worst violence to hit Syria's commercial hub in the 11-month uprising against President Bashar Assad.

The UN has stopped issuing a death toll for Syria, saying the widespread violence made it impossible to cross-check reports and provide a reliable figure. More than 5,000 people had been killed as of Dec. 12, according to its last estimate.

"Clearly the numbers are climbing every day, and it's really a pretty disastrous situation in Homs. But we can't give you even a ballpark figure and endorse it," Colville said.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Asked who should refer Syrian figures to the Hague-based ICC for prosecution, Colville replied: "As things stand only the Security Council can do that."

Russia and China provoked strong condemnation from the United States, European powers and Arab governments when they vetoed a resolution in the Security Council last week that called on Assad to step down.

The World Health Organisation said on Friday there had been a "massive increase" in the number of war wounded in Syria, though its Damascus office could provide no figures.

"There is also a disruption of regular health services due to lack of security, limited access, staff cannot reach health facilities and also sick or wounded people have difficulty reaching health facilities," WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said.

"We remind all parties that health workers and health premises should not be targeted in any way, they should be seen as neutral premises," she added.

A UN commission of inquiry on Syria, in a report issued last November, said that Syrian military and security forces had committed crimes against humanity, including murder, torture and rape of civilians.

An initial UN inquiry into the Syrian uprising issued a report in August with a confidential list of 50 suspects whom it said were linked to alleged crimes against humanity.

Click for full JPost coverage

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

File: Jordan's King Abdullah II greets Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House in Washin
October 22, 2018
Is Israel’s position in region as secure as it looks?

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN