April 15, 2014
The Syrian Coalition welcomes efforts to seek justice for victims of war crimes in Syria. The United Nations Security Council has recently held discussions concerning the Assad regime’s abuse of detainees. The Coalition calls on the Security Council to expand the discussions to include the regime’s multiple violations of international law and ultimately refer it to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Coalition also calls on UNSC member states, particularly Russia and China, not to obstruct such a resolution which is necessary to uphold worldwide respect for the ICC as an institution and international law as a concept.
War crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed on a large scale, day after day, by Assad’s forces, including the starvation of entire communities, systematic indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, the intentional blockage of humanitarian aid in stark defiance of Security Council Resolution 2139, and recently the use of poison gas against innocent civilians. Though on a much smaller scale, abuses are also carried out by extremist groups which the Coalition has condemned and FSA has been fighting for months.
Mr. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair of the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, submitted last month four “perpetrators lists” to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights identifying individuals and organizations that are responsible for war crimes in Syria.
Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Rights Watch said: “For victims in Syria who have known nothing but suffering, despair and abandonment, the ICC would open up the hope of justice and redress.”
Security Council member states should be able to demonstrate their commitment to principles of justice and accountability by passing this resolution. The Syrian people have the right to expect the support of the international community in their quest for justice.
May our wounded recover, our detainees be free, and our fallen heroes rest in peace.
Long live Syria and its people, free and with honor.