Syria has rejected calls from several nations to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), according to a report adopted Oct. 11 by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The report also includes a number of recommendations to the country aimed at improving its human rights situation, which has been widely criticized since the regime began to crack down on anti-government protests early this year. In statements contained in the report, Syria asserts that the violence in the country is the result of “terrorist threats” prompted by “a media war” and “the hegemony of the West, the US and Israel.” The government of President Bashar al-Assad is estimated to have killed 3,000 civilians since mid-March.
In August, the UNHRC voted 33-4 to adopt a resolution ordering an investigation into crimes against humanity in Syria and urging the Syrian government once again to halt its violent crackdown against peaceful protesters. An emergency meeting was held in response to a plea from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to refer Syria to the ICC for an investigation into the violent suppression of anti-government protests.
From Jurist, Oct. 11. Used with permission.