UN Commission Chair Says European Courts Start Prosecuting Syrian War Crimes Perpetrators

Paulo Pinheiro recognized that national courts will be the ones taking the lead in terms of accountability, according to North Press.

Civilians in Syria are not protected as no party in the Syrian conflict cares about the lives of the civilians, said Paulo Pinheiro, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria (IICI) on Tuesday.

According to a report published last week by the United Nations, more than 300,000 Syrian citizens have died in the last ten years of the war that is still ravaging the country. The conflict, which started in 2011, is nowhere close to an end. 

In an interview with Euronews Pinheiro said, “Something that the report reveals very clearly is the absence of the protection of civilians,” adding, “No faction, no party in the conflict in Syria cares about the protection of the lives of the civilians. That is the reality.”

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Asked about the possibility of bringing those responsible for war crimes committed in Syria to the international criminal courts, Pinheiro recognized that national courts will be the ones taking the lead.

“For the time being, I don’t see any possibility on the horizon for the referral to the International Criminal Court. And in the present international juncture, it’s impossible because […] most likely the veto for this referral will be repeated in the [UN] Security Council,” he noted.  

He pointed out that the positive thing is that several European countries “are prosecuting and in some cases condemning people that committed the crimes against humanity or war crimes.”


This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.


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