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Syria War Crime Suspects to Be Named

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February 20th, saw a radical change in the change of strategy by war crime investigators .The United Nations war crimes investigators announced that they were planning to publish names of suspects involved in Syria’s four-year war, where this would ultimately cause uproar amongst the countries closely associated with it.

February 20th, saw a radical change in the change of strategy by war crime investigators .The United Nations war crimes investigators announced that they were planning to publish names of suspects involved in Syria’s four-year war, where this would ultimately cause uproar amongst the countries closely associated with it.

Seeing this as a push for new ways to bring justice, the independent Commission of Inquiry, led by Brazilian investigator Paulo Pinheiro, may publish some or all of hundreds of names on secret lists of suspects at the U.N. Human Rights Council on March 17. Reuters reported, that the war crime investigators had already compiled four lists, but have had kept them a secret. The lists include military and security commanders, the heads of detention facilities, and commanders of non-state armed groups. A new fifth list would consolidate the first four.

Pinheiro, speaking to reporters after informally briefing the U.N. Security Council, refused to be drawn, saying any release of names would need to “be of some use” and have some “follow-up”. “You have to understand that we have to keep the suspense,” he said, where his point reinforced the points made in the report by the Human Rights Council, one that made clear that not to publish names at this juncture of the investigation would be to reinforce the impunity that the Commission was instructed to combat.
The fighting in Syria has killed more than 200,000 people and forced 10 million from their homes, triggering a regional humanitarian crisis that shows no sign of ending.

The UN has reported that the latest in the series documenting human rights abuses, include torture, sex crimes ,murder and the use of child soldiers, where the international community had failed in its duty to protect Syria’s civilians.

Without naming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s allies such as Iran the report said:”The consistent support provided to the government by its international backers, in terms of military equipment, advice and training, encouraged it to persist in its military and security approach based on the excessive use of force”, strongly emphasizing the fact the international community was partly to blame for the atrocities being committed in Syria.

The investigators said they had increasingly been sharing information with countries planning to prosecute their own citizens for crimes committed in Syria, and they also would be willing to share information with states trying to prosecute foreign nationals under the rules of “universal jurisdiction”. For this reason, the commission may release the list of alleged war criminals at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 17.

Meanwhile, the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a recent interview that she had warned the United Nations Security Council about human rights violations worldwide including in Syria, but no action was taken for ‘narrow political interests.’ She asked the Security Council to show greater willingness to take urgent measures to put an end to the conflict in Syria, where she believed that the world community bears responsibility for the civil war rages on, and that IS has gained ground in Syria and Iraq. For her, the “international community has failed. We should have seen it coming.”

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