Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

U.N. rights panel on Syria urges war crimes charges

GENEVA — The U.N. Security Council should refer Syria to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to prosecute those responsible for war crimes and other abuses committed in nearly two years of conflict, Carla del Ponte, a U.N. human rights investigator, said Monday.

Del Ponte, the former chief prosecutor for international tribunals on the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, spoke as the U.N. Human Rights Council commission investigating Syria, of which she is a member, said violence in Syria was worsening. It said the conflict was also "becoming more militarized because of the proliferation of weapons and types of weapons used."

The panel's 131-page report detailing evidence of war crimes and other abuses in the six months to mid January said, "The issue of accountability for those responsible for international crimes deserves to be raised in a more robust manner to counter the pervasive sense of impunity in the country."

The top U.N. human rights official, Navi Pillay, has also urged that Syria be referred to the International Criminal Court. Authority to make such a referral, however, lies with the Security Council or the country concerned.

In their report, based on 445 interviews, the investigators said they found credible evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both government and opposition forces. The report cited accounts of massacres, summary executions, torture, attacks by armed groups on civilians, sexual violence and abuses against children.

No weapons: European Union foreign ministers decided against providing weapons to Syrian rebels despite objections by Britain. They expressed fears that more arms would only lead to more bloodshed in a conflict that has taken nearly 70,000 lives.

A woman washes clothes Monday in a camp for displaced people in Syria. Fighting there has killed nearly 70,000.

Associated Press

A woman washes clothes Monday in a camp for displaced people in Syria. Fighting there has killed nearly 70,000.

U.N. rights panel on Syria urges war crimes charges 02/18/13 [Last modified: Monday, February 18, 2013 10:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often


    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  2. Two Boca Ciega students arrested on charges they brought gun to high school football game


    PINELLAS PARK — Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for having a loaded semi-automatic handgun with them at a Friday night football game at Pinellas Park High School.

    Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for bringing a weapon on school property on Friday night at a high school football game at Pinellas Park High School.
  3. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005


    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  4. Crash at U.S. 19 in Pinellas Park kills one, shuts down traffic


    PINELLAS PARK — A man is dead after a crash between two cars at the intersection of U.S. Highway 19 and 70th Avenue N just after 7 a.m. Saturday.

    Pinellas Park police are investigating the death of a man during a crash on U.S. 19 early Saturday. (Pinellas Park police)
  5. Tropics watch: The latest on Harvey and what systems could hit Florida


    While Eastern and Central America monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Harvey, two tropical disturbances are moving through the Atlantic.