#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 2°C Sunday 28 November 2021
Advertisement

Tánaiste calls for Syrian crisis to be referred to International Criminal Court

Eamon Gilmore has joined three other Foreign Ministers to pen an opinion piece, published by CNN.

A Syrian refugee woman walks with her two kids at Zaatari Syrian refugee camp, near the Syrian border in Mafraq, Jordan.
A Syrian refugee woman walks with her two kids at Zaatari Syrian refugee camp, near the Syrian border in Mafraq, Jordan.
Image: Mohammad Hannon/AP/Press Association Images

EAMON GILMORE HAS joined three other Foreign Ministers in penning an opinion piece, published by CNN, calling for the Syrian crisis to be referred to the International Criminal Court.

The plea was also made by Austria’s Michael Spindelegger, Slovenia’s Karl Erjavec and Denmark’s Villy Søvndal.

The ministers expressed their serious concern that the crisis may soon reach a new level of violence and appealed to all parties in the conflict to abide by international law, especially humanitarian and human rights law.

According to the four men, a referral to the ICC would make clear to every fighter (both in the Syrian army and on the rebel side) that the gravest crimes will not go unpunished.

“We owe this not only to the victims and their families, but also to future generations of Syrians who want to live in a free state founded on the principles of peace and justice,” they wrote.

Because Syria is not a party to the ICC Statue, a decision of the UN Security Council is needed to provide jurisdiction. In a statement this evening, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said:

In view of the substantiated accounts of atrocities by Syrian government forces against civilians; the recent attacks on UN peacekeepers and humanitarian aid workers; as well the threat of a further escalation of violence including the possibility of the use of chemical weapons, the Ministers have called on the UN Security Council to urgently refer the situation in Syria to the ICC.

The ministers believe a referral to the ICC would have several advantages, including its neutrality and impartiality. Crimes on all sides would be investigated, they said, before concluding:

And we owe it to the future of humankind: After thousands of years of sometimes gruesome history, human civilization must no longer accept impunity for the most atrocious crimes. Only if we make absolutely clear that these crimes will not go unpunished, can we reduce the likelihood that humankind will have to suffer from them in the future.

See more at CNN.COM>

Read: UN unable to feed 1 million hungry in Syria

Read next:

COMMENTS (44)