WFUNA Signs Statement Calling for Referral of Syria to ICC

THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014 WFUNA is proud to join Human Rights Watch and over 100 civil society groups from around the world in signing a statement that urges the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.  Read the full release below: Syria: Groups Call for ICC Referral  Statement by Civil […]

THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014

WFUNA is proud to join Human Rights Watch and over 100 civil society groups from around the world in signing a statement that urges the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. 

Read the full release below:

Syria: Groups Call for ICC Referral 

Statement by Civil Society Organizations on Need for Justice 

(New York, May 15, 2014) – Over one hundred civil society groups from around the world issued the following statement today to urge the United Nations Security Council to approve a resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court: 

We, the undersigned civil society groups, urge United Nations Security Council members to approve a draft resolution supported by a broad coalition of countries that would refer the situation in Syria to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

More than three years into a conflict that has claimed well over 100, 000 lives, according to the United Nations, atrocity crimes are being committed with complete impunity by all sides in the conflict, with no end in sight. 

Neither Syrian authorities nor the leaders of non-state armed groups have taken any meaningful steps to ensure accountability for past and ongoing grave human rights crimes. The failure to hold those responsible for these violations to account has only fueled further atrocities by all sides. Against this background, we believe the ICC is the forum most capable of effectively investigating and prosecuting the people who bear the greatest responsibility for serious crimes and of offering a measure of justice for victims in Syria. 

The latest report from the UN’s Syria Commission of Inquiry, published on March 5, also found that all sides to the Syria conflict continued to commit serious crimes under international law and held that the Security Council was failing to take action to end the state of impunity. The commission, which has published seven in-depth reports since its establishment in August 2011, recommended that the Security Council give the ICC a mandate to investigate abuses in Syria. 

The need for accountability in Syria through the ICC has likewise been supported by more than 60 UN member countries, representing all regions of world, including 10 of the current members of the Security Council. We urge all Security Council members to heed this call for justice. Other countries should publicly support the draft resolution and warn Russia and China against using their veto power to obstruct accountability for violations by all sides. 

As a permanent international court with a mandate to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity when national authorities are unable or unwilling to do so, the ICC was created to address exactly the type of situation that exists in Syria today. Though the court’s work can be only one piece of the larger accountability effort needed in Syria, it is a crucial first step. 

We therefore strongly urge Security Council members to urgently act to fill the accountability gap in Syria. The people of Syria cannot afford further disappointment or delay. 

Co-signing organizations in alphabetical order: 

1. Action des Chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture, France 

2. Amnesty International, Benin 

3. Advocates for Public International Law, Uganda 

4. Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Egypt 

5. Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Australia 

6. Act for Peace, Australia 

7. Arab Coalition for Sudan, Sudan 

8. Arab Program for Human Rights Activists, Egypt 

9. Arab-European Center Of Human Rights And International Law, Norway 

10. Arab Foundation for Development and Citizenship, United Kingdom 

11. Andalus Institute for Tolerance and anti-Violence Studies, Egypt 

12. Benin Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Benin 

13. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Egypt 

14. Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas, Colombia 

15. Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding, Liberia 

16. Child Soldiers International, United Kingdom 

17. Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Belgium 

18. Club des Amis du Droit du Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo 

19. Coalition Ivoirienne pour la Cour Penale Internationale, Cote d’Ivoire 

20. Colombian Commission of Jurists, Colombia 

21. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, South Sudan 

22. Conflict Monitoring Center, Pakistan 

23. Congress of National Minorities of Ukraine, Ukraine 

24. Comité Catholique Contre la Faim et Pour le Développement – Terre Solidaire, France 

25. Comision Mexicana de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos, Mexico 

26. CSO Network, Western Kenya 

27. Dawlaty Foundation, Lebanon 

28. Democracia Global, Argentina 

29. East Africa Law Society, Tanzania 

30. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, Egypt 

31. Elman Peace and Human Rights Center, Somalia 

32. Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network 

33. FN-forbundet / Danish United Nations Association, Denmark 

34. Franciscans International 

35. Fundación de Antropología Forense, Guatemala 

36. Georgian Young Lawyers Association, Georgia 

37. Genocide Alert, Germany 

38. Global, United States 

39. Global Justice Center, United States 

40. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, United States 

41. Gulf Centre for Human Rights, Denmark 

42. Horiyat for Development and Human Rights, Libya 

43. Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation, The Netherlands 

44. Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo, Kosovo 

45. Human Rights First, United States 

46. Human Rights Watch 

47. International Justice Project, United States 

48. International Commission of Jurists, Kenya 

49. International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, Nigeria 

50. International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, United States 

51. International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture, France 

52. International Center for Policy and Conflict, Kenya 

53. Insan, Lebanon 

54. Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, United States 

55. Justice Without Frontiers, Lebanon 

56. Kenya Human Rights Commission, Kenya 

57. La Coalition Burundaise pour la Cour Penale Internationale, Burundi 

58. Lira NGO Forum, Uganda 

59. Ligue pour la Paix, les Droits de l’Homme et la Justice, Democratic Republic of Congo 

60. Media Foundation for West Africa, Ghana 

61. Minority Rights Group International, United Kingdom 

62. National Youth Action, Inc., Liberia 

63. No Peace Without Justice, Italy 

64. Norwegian People’s Aid, Norway 

65. Optimum Travail du Burkina, Burkina Faso 

66. Open Society Justice Initiative 

67. Pakistan Body Count, Pakistan 

68. PAX, The Netherlands 

69. Pax Christi International 

70. Parliamentarians for Global Action 

71. El Equipo Peruano de Antropología Forense, Peru 

72. Physicians for Human Rights, United States 

73. Pak Institute for Peace Studies, Pakistan 

74. REDRESS, United Kingdom 

75. Reporters without Borders, France 

76. Rencontre africaine pour la défense des droits de l’homme (Raddho-Guinée), Guinea 

77. Reseau Equitas, Cote D’Ivoire 

78. Samir Kassir Foundation, Lebanon 

79. Southern Africa Litigation Centre, South Africa 

80. South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law, South Africa 

81. Syrian Network for Human Rights, United Kingdom 

82. Syria Justice & Accountability Center, The Netherlands 

83. Syrian Nonviolence Movement, France 

84. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, United Kingdom 

85. Synergie des ONGs Congolaises pour la lutte contre les Violences Sexuelles, Democratic Republic of Congo 

86. Synergie des ONGs Congolaises pour les Victimes, Democratic Republic of Congo 

87. The International Federation for Human Rights, France 

88. The Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law, Sierra Leone 

89. The Association of Political Scientists, Greece 

90. The Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention, Canada 

91. The Igarape Institute, Brazil 

92. The Arab World Center for Democratic Development, Jordan 

93. The United Nations Association of Sweden, Sweden 

94. United to End Genocide, United States 

95. Vision GRAM-International, Canada 

96. Violations Documentation Center, Syria 

97. Wake Up Genève for Syria, Switzerland 

98. West Africa Civil Society Institute, Ghana 

99. West African Bar Association, Nigeria 

100. World Federalist Movement, Canada 

101. World Federation of United Nations Associations 

102. Zarga Organization for Rural Development, Sudan 

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