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Tánaiste calls for Syrian Crisis to be referred to the International Criminal Court

Security, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, 2013

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., writing together with the Foreign Ministers of Austria, Denmark and Slovenia, has said that the international community must refer the Syria Crisis to the International Criminal Court.

In the opinion piece which appeared on CNN World this evening ( http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/10/time-to-refer-syria-crisis-to-icc/) the Tánaiste and his colleagues expressed their serious concern that the crisis in Syria may soon reach a new level of violence.  They appealed to all parties to the conflict to abide by international law, especially humanitarian law and human rights law.  A referral to the ICC, the Ministers stated, would make clear to every fighter on all sides of the conflict that the gravest crimes will eventually be punished. “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.”  

Since Syria is not a party to the ICC Statute, jurisdiction of the Court requires a decision of the U.N. Security Council. 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 risk of the use of chemical weapons, the Ministers have called on the U.N. Security Council to urgently refer the situation in Syria to the ICC