Perpetrators of war crimes in Syria “must face justice”

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Paulo Pinheiro. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Governments around the world have been urged to remain vigilant to ensure that perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria are face justice.

The appeal was made in Geneva on Wednesday by Paulo Pinheiro, the Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in the country that is mired in civil war.

Mr. Pinheiro told participants in a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council that the position of the Commission is that Syria must be referred to the International Criminal Court.

"States need to remain vigilant that perpetrators of crimes in Syria do face justice at the first possible opportunity. It may not be today or tomorrow, but we must remain always committed that one day there will be a mechanism that will hold those responsible to account. To this end, evidence must be preserved, fact finding efforts such as ours must be supported and available information shared with the Commission." (29")

Mr. Pinheiro said that the human rights situation in Syria was dire before the elections held two weeks ago and remains dire after the elections.

He pointed out that the elections were held in the context of a conflict where civilians were vulnerable to attacks and received threats from both government and opposition forces.

Sophie Outhwaite, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

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