Death toll in Syria protests rises to 2,700: UN
Syrian security forces have killed 2,700 anti-government protesters since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad started in March, including at least 100 children, the United Nations human rights office said on Monday.
Kyung-wha Kang, deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said her office was prepared to send its confidential list of 50 suspects linked to alleged crimes against humanity to the International Criminal Court, if the Security Council refers the situation in Syria to the Hague-based court.
She called on Assad’s government to cooperate with an international inquiry into the bloodshed so as to ensure accountability for all violations and to “break the culture of impunity in the country”.
“As of today, 2,700 people, including at least 100 children, have been killed by military and security forces since mass protests erupted in mid-March,” Kang said in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council.
“Let me conclude by emphasising the importance of holding perpetrators of crimes against humanity accountable. The office has found that such crimes may have been committed in Syria,” she said, citing a UN report issued in August.
Kang, in response to questions about the office’s list of 50 alleged perpetrators, said of the ICC: “Should the court be engaged and request the office’s assistance at any stage of its investigation into violations in Syria, the office will be ready to provide them with the information, including the confidential list of names as appropriate.”
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, speaking in New York, also said that Syria must answer for crimes against humanity.