Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2018, 09:04 GMT

UN creates body to prepare Syrian war crimes cases over Russian objections

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 22 December 2016
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, UN creates body to prepare Syrian war crimes cases over Russian objections, 22 December 2016, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5975a39126.html [accessed 23 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

December 22, 2016

A UN commission has found evidence of war crimes in Syria's AleppoA UN commission has found evidence of war crimes in Syria's Aleppo

The United Nations General Assembly, over strenuous objections from Russia and Syria, voted to establish a panel to prepare cases involving war crimes and human rights abuses in Syria.

The resolution, drafted by Liechtenstein, was adopted by 105 to 15 on December 21, with 52 abstentions, despite warnings from Russia that the assembly was interfering in the work of the Security Council, where Russia has repeatedly blocked moves to prosecute alleged war crimes in Syria.

Iran and China also were among those voting against the resolution.

"We have postponed any meaningful action on accountability too often and for too long," signalling that Syria's brutal tactics are "condoned and have no consequences," Liechtenstein's UN Ambassador Christian Wenaweser said.

The panel will work closely with the UN Commission of Inquiry, which has submitted several reports detailing atrocities committed during the war.

Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari objected that the resolution was "illegal" and "a direct threat to a solution" of the conflict.

Human Rights Watch official Balkees Jarah applauded the "unprecedented" move by the general assembly to act in light of the "deadlock" over Syrian war crimes in the security council, saying it "took a critically important stand for victims of grave crimes."

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, dpa, and Reuters

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

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