News24

UN recommends ICC for Syrian officials

2012-02-10 18:00

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, spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, told a news briefing.

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 December 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.

Increase in war wounded

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 (WHO) 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 spokesperson 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.

Comments
  • Fidel - 2012-02-10 18:16

    The ICC is a charade. A war crimes prosecutor writing his indictment against one side in the trenches of the other side, counting every shot fired by the other side as a crime and considering everyone on his side "innocent civilian victims." This is judicial high comedy. Most of the 'international' organisations are just a tool to project imperial power.

      Cracker - 2012-02-10 19:45

      It is not imperial power. It is a simple matter of siding with the victor and thereby continue taking your salary and perks.

      Fidel - 2012-02-10 19:56

      Victors'Justice so to speak?

      Fred - 2012-02-11 01:17

      You're a pack of funny-thinking weirdos with these ideas. :)

      nowicki1 - 2012-02-11 11:18

      Fred, search for Bill'ORielly on youtube, it sounds like you two have a lot in common.

      Fred - 2012-02-11 16:02

      There's a difference between insulting people and speaking the truth. You make not like the truth but I sure as hell am not going to allow you to undermine the forces for good and enable the forces for evil without calling your ideas what they are: stupid, confused, delusional, heartless, and ultimately evil themselves. Nowicki, I know very well who Bill OReilly is. I dislike almost all his opinions probably as much as I dislike yours.

      Fred - 2012-02-15 08:22

      Pierre, this is more stupidity. Nato did not destroy Libya. It intervened at the behest of the Arab League and United Nations and in so doing sugically targeted military and other institutional installations to weaken Gaddafi's ability to destroy the country and kill many more thousands of people. The United Nations instructed Nato to do this, rightly so or there would have been tens of thousands more deaths, untold destruction, torture and rape by a mad, almost psychotic man. It is stupid not to draw these distinctions. I do agree with you that military action should be used as a last resort. This is exactly what happened in Libya. It is stupid to miss this. Countries that have been hijacked by a small group of people who then use its resources largely for their own gain and kill, torutre, and maim their populations to hold onto power are not truly sovereign. It is stupid to allow them to hide behind this label.

      Fred - 2012-02-15 08:24

      That should be Patrick, not Pierre. :)

  • Hermann - 2012-02-10 18:30

    I already commented on this days ago, but fat hope the UN GA Assembly is a club for oppressors and toothless.

      Fidel - 2012-02-10 18:44

      The act of bombing other peoples cities in unprovoked attacks was what the ICC was set up to prosecute - and hopefully, put a curb on. But of course, they've been shown up to be another tool in the imperialist box and will only indict you if you're not part of the cabal. So both you and I are dissapointed.

      Fred - 2012-02-11 01:18

      No Fidel, you're running around with strange thoughts in your head and a faulty world map.

  • nowicki1 - 2012-02-10 18:54

    soo everyone hating on me for posting links to Press TV, here is an article by Debka (an Israeli news agency) claiming Qatari and British special forces are operating inside Syria. Hmm I wonder why Al Jazeera or British press isn't reporting it?: http://www.debka.com/article/21718/

      Fidel - 2012-02-10 20:14

      The Anglo Saxon mass media and Al Jazeera are acting in a manner virtually indistinguishable from propogandists. As Noam Chomsky reminds us, it is not the purpose of the supine servile mainstream media to question the state. That task has fallen to the Internet.

      Fred - 2012-02-11 01:20

      So? It's a tiny part of the story. Plus, Syrians deserve every bit of help they can get. They are standing up against a ruthless tyrant with the state's military at his disposal. To do nothing is to be irresponsible, weak, inhumane, comatose actually.

      Fred - 2012-02-11 16:05

      You're promoting no help at all for the Syrian people trying to defend themselves against the evil tyrant Bashar Assad. How dumb and heartless is that.

      Fred - 2012-02-28 18:05

      Patrick, another example of your racism. Plus NATO was requested to intervene in Libya and the second largest NATO country is Turkey, a country of 73 million muslims.

  • Fidel - 2012-02-10 18:59

    "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." All it takes is a few tall tales about Viagra-mercenaries or babies being thrown out of incubators repeated non-stop on the news for consent to be manufactured. They are doing it all again and the sheeple lap it up!

      Mike - 2012-02-10 19:19

      You were there Fidel? you know more than the rest of the world typical armchair expert!

      Leon - 2012-02-10 19:25

      why did you change names grezella was it to close to gorila

      Fidel - 2012-02-10 19:47

      @Leon Pedestrian minds discuss people. More evolved ones discuss events. A final group discusses notions, concepts and ideas. Which one do you default to?

      Fidel - 2012-02-10 19:51

      @Daniel Learn to write English before you post. It is my third language and then come back here when you have reached a linguistic level in your mother tongue which would occasion the notion you are a....person....worth the time and space you occupy. That would be all.

      Leon - 2012-02-10 19:57

      I don't discuss events i'm part of the events

      Fred - 2012-02-11 01:22

      That was your hero Gaddafi's tale, who you supported to the hilt. You even support him now.

      Fidel - 2012-02-11 08:16

      @Frank To turn comments into a popularity contest turns News24 into a high school. Constantly counting the number of downvotes suggests to me issues of low self-esteem. The really odd part about this is that the low self-esteem leads to behaviours that simply reinforce the low sense of self-worth.

      nowicki1 - 2012-02-11 16:28

      Frank - Its funny as I used to have views similar to yours and many others on this site, completely "westernized" i thought the western way was the best way, I thought they were the good guys. That is until I took an interest into modern history that is.. For America to get away with what it does, it is crucial that it spreads its sphere of influence as far and wide as possible creating an "empire". Then, when the US drops a bomb from an unmanned drone over Pakistan killing 20 tribal villagers, it is called "collateral damage" and little fuss is made. But if a Pakistani man shoots a rocket at a military helicopter killing 20 marines its all over the press. Why do you think this is? Do we value the marines life more than the Pakistani life? Why? Because we can relate to marines more than we can relate to a Pakistani man? Due to ignorance of Pakistani culture? damn sorry for all the questions, I'm not even sure of the answers..

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