Rachel Gerber of the Stanley Foundation, an ICRtoP Member, publisheda post for “Think”, the Foundation’s newsletter, on the “Trials and Tests Faced by R2P” that focuses on the use of R2P in the context of Libya, Syria and beyond.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued a report this week that accused the Syrian government of engaging in a “pattern of human rights violations that constitutes widespread or systematic attacks against the civilian population, which may amount to crimes against humanity.”
The report also listed the names of 50 individuals within the Assad regime who could be prosecuted by the ICC for their involvement in the commission of such crimes. The Chief Prosecutor of the ICC has responded to this, stating that the Court currently has no jurisdiction in Syria given it is not a party to the Rome Statute. The only way the Court could begin an investigation in Syria is through a referral by the Security Council, which has been divided over how to respond to the situation.
On the same day the OHCHR report was released, President Barack Obama officially called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down this week in response to its crackdown against protesters. The US President was joined in his calls by a chorus of other countries. The EU has also called for an embargo on Syrian oil today, adding to pre-existing sanctions to pressure the regime.
Despite a pledge by the Assad regime that the crackdown has ended, Reuters reports today that Syrian security forces shot dead 20 protesters in Deraa.
The OHCHR also released the long-anticipated report this week that suggests that crimes against humanity and war crimes may have been committed in the Southern Kordofan. Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, urged an “independent, thorough, and object inquiry” to substantiate the claims made by the report and bring perpetrators to account. The Government of Sudan issued a rebuttal to the report’s finding, stating it was “not credible” and based on “hearsay”.
The Government also threatened to expel the joint UN-AU force (UNAMID) again, due to concerns over a recent UN Security Council resolution that extended its mandate.
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