International NGOs work to bring Assad to trial at ICC

International NGOs discussed ways to make sure that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad faces trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

International NGOs work to bring Assad to trial at ICC

International nongovernmental organizations gathered in Istanbul earlier this week to discuss ways to make sure that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has presided over the deaths of more than 120,000 Syrians, faces trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Members of the Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (UNIW) and the World Association of Muslim Jurists (WAMJ) attended the meeting in Istanbul.

The meeting was also attended by European jurists, former Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, former Chairman of Libya's National Transitional Council Mustafa Abdul Jalil and Syrian opposition figure Haitham al-Maleh.

Delivering a speech at the event, al-Maleh said at least 15,000 out of the 120,000 killed in Syria were women and children. He said more than 500,000 people have been injured and more than 10 million displaced due to offensives by the Syrian regime's forces.

The president of UNIW, lawyer Ali Kurt, said his NGO has hundreds of thousands of documents incriminating the Assad regime.

The UNIW knows it is difficult, he said, to bring the crimes against humanity in Syria onto the agenda of the UN and the ICC, which he said act according to political motivations more than human rights and legal concerns. Kurt said his organization's goal is to raise international awareness about the tragedy in Syria.

He went on to say that the UNIW has examined the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia's (ICTY) decisions convicting Serbs of crimes against humanity in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian War, adding that despite many obstacles and difficulties, the UNIW is determined to work day and night to ensure that Assad is punished.

In order for the ICC to take action, Syria needs to cooperate with the court and the UN Security Council needs to make a decision to refer Assad to the ICC.

Syria is not expected to cooperate with the ICC, and Russia and China, which are permanent members of the Security Council, are unlikely support to any step against Assad.

Cihan

Last Mod: 21 Kasım 2013, 09:41
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