A U.N. fact-finding mission announced Thursday it has found Syria guilty of human rights violations in its months-long crackdown on protesters, and that it may be time for the International Criminal Court to be involved.
"The mission found a pattern of human rights violations that constitutes widespread or systematic attacks against the civilian population, which may amount to crimes against humanity," the Fact-Finding Mission on Syria wrote in its report.
The violations include murder and disappearances, torture, deprivation of liberty, and persecution, the mission said.
The commission called on the U.N. Human Rights Council to urge the U.N. Security Council to "address in the strongest terms the killing of peaceful protesters and other civilians in Syria through the use of excessive force and other grave human rights violations; to call for an immediate cessation of attacks against the civilian population; and to consider referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court."
The Security Council is to be briefed Thursday by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay; Valerie Amos, under-secretary-general of humanitarian affairs and emergency relief efforts; and a U.N. political officer. The meeting is not expected to result in issuance of a statement or adoption of a resolution; its purpose is to get the 15-member council closer to a decision on how to proceed.
The U.N. Human Rights Council is also holding a special session Monday on Syria, according to Cedric Sepe, press officer at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. He said member states have called for the session, in Geneva, Switzerland. The session may extend into Tuesday, he said.FULL STORY