Syria War Crimes Should Not Be Pardoned: UN Rights Chief

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein (Press Tv photo)
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein (Press Tv photo)

Geneva, 23 Rabiul Akhir 1437/2 February 2016 (MINA) – United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein says those suspected of committing crimes against humanity in the conflict in Syria should not be pardoned under any deal.

“We do have a principled position in the United Nations that no amnesties should be considered for those suspected of having committed crimes against humanity or war crimes,” Hussein said on Monday in Geneva, where delegates from the Syrian government and the divided opposition convened for the UN-brokered peace talks.

The UN official said starvation of people in besieged cities and towns in Syria should not also be ignored. He said this was “not just a war crime but a crime against humanity if proven in court.” Press Tv quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).

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“We estimate that tens of thousands are held in arbitrary detention and clearly they need to be released,” Hussein stated.

The UN rights body accuses all sides in Syria of committing war crimes such as murder and torture. Meanwhile, the UN accused the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group of waging a campaign of terror for their hundreds of public executions.

The Syrian government’s representatives arrived in Geneva on January 29 to take part in the peace talks brokered by the UN to end the Arab country’s crisis through a political solution. The opposition umbrella group the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) landed in the Swiss city on Saturday.

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The talks, however, did not begin immediately after both sides’ arrival as the Saudi-backed HNC refused to participate unless their conditions, including the release of imprisoned militants, are met.

“We are here for political negotiations but we cannot start those until we have those gestures,” HNC spokeswoman Basma Kodmani said on Sunday.

This as Syria’s ambassador to the UN, Bashar al-Jaafari, who has represented the Syrian government in the talks has ruled out any preconditions set by the opposition. (T/P002/R07)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)