Calls to probe Syria for war crimes

2013-01-14 21:59
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

New York - Fifty-six countries on Monday demanded that the UN Security Council refer the Syria conflict to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for a war crimes investigation.

Switzerland sent a petition demanding the move to the 15-member Security Council, the only body that can refer the case to the ICC but which is bitterly divided over the 22-month-old war.

The signatories included many European nations, such as Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Australia, Japan, New Zealand and a number of African and Pacific nations also endorsed the initiative.

Libya and Tunisia, which also saw Arab Spring uprisings, also signed the call, which highlighted a UN investigation that said there is strong evidence of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Syria over the past two years.

The letter demanded that the Security Council refer the Syria conflict for an ICC investigation "without exceptions and irrespective of the alleged perpetrators”.

"At the very least, the council should send out an unequivocal message urging the Syrian authorities and all other parties to fully respect international human rights," the letter states.

Permanent members Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions which would have just threatened sanctions against President Bashar Assad's regime.

As Syria is not an ICC member, only a Security Council referral could start a war crimes investigation. But diplomats said the divide on Syria is so deep that no move by the body is now possible.

Russia and China refused to sign the Swiss petition.

The US has not signed the letter because it is not an ICC member, but it does support the initiative, diplomats said.

Other countries also said they could not sign as they were not ICC members, the diplomats added.

"Our proposal is supported throughout Europe and also in most other regions of the world,"

Switzerland's Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter told SRF Swiss broadcaster on Friday. "We can get this operation moving now," he added.

"There are horrific war crimes happening in Syria," Burkhalter said. "People must realise that these crimes will not go unpunished."

Russia has been the main opponent of international action on the conflict, which the UN estimates has now left more than 60 000 people dead.

The Russian government reaffirmed on Sunday that it opposes any move to force Assad from power as part of any deal to get talks started on a political settlement.

Assad's ouster would be "impossible to implement", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russian media.

"In the face of spiralling carnage, Russia and China have shamefully paralysed the Security Council for far too long," said Richard Dicker, an international justice expert for Human Rights Watch.

He called the Swiss petition "an unprecedented act of 'justice diplomacy'”.

"A court investigation would strip all sides to the conflict of their sense of impunity, signalling that abuses could land them in a cell in The Hague," Dicker said.

Read more on:    bashar assad  |  syria  |  syria conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!

Soon sending an LOL! or facepalm will be so much more fun!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Puppy goes crazy over iPad game
Printable solar panels will bring exciting new opportunities!
Now there’s a special lane for texting while walking
LOL! 7 brutally honest texts from parents

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to fight against the current today but this will just use up a lot of energy and not get you very far. You...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.