Europe wants war crimes probe of Houla massacre
Geneva: European diplomats were pressing on Friday for the UN`s top human rights body to propose a war crimes probe into last week`s killing of over 100 civilians in Syria, a move that would be fiercely resisted by Russia but also is viewed with misgivings by other nations such as the United States.
Officials from the 27-nation European Union said they want the UN Human Rights Council to pass a resolution that is stronger than a draft tabled by Qatar, Turkey and the United States.
The 47-member rights council is holding an emergency meeting in Geneva today to discuss the massacre in Houla, where the UN says at least 108 people, including 49 children under the age of ten, were killed last week.
"Mostly we are pressing for some stronger language on accountability," said Maria Ulff Moeller, a Danish diplomat whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.
The current draft condemns the killings and states that "those responsible for serious violations of human rights must be held accountable," but doesn`t suggest how. It also calls for an expert group to investigate the massacre, but that group has previously been blocked from entering Syria by President Bashar Assad`s regime.
EU officials say they want the resolution to include a call for the UN Security Council in New York to consider referring the massacre to the International Criminal Court. This is something the rights council cannot do on its own. And since Syria isn`t a member of the ICC, under international law only the Security Council can refer it to the Hague-based tribunal.
"We can encourage the Security Council to refer the situation to the ICC, and it`s something we are pushing for," said Moeller.
Human rights groups backed the EU position. "At this stage what we need is a strong resolution requesting ICC referral," said Juliette de Rivero, a spokeswoman for the group Human Rights Watch.
But other nations who favor sharp language critical of Syria are questioning whether the rights body should invoke the war crimes tribunal.
"Obviously we want to hold the violators accountable," said David Kennedy, a spokesman for the US Mission in Geneva. "Ultimately, though, it`s not the role of the Human Rights Council to make recommendations to the Security Council."
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- IAF Mirage fighter plane lands on Yamuna Expressway!
- 'Maggi' under regulatory scanner for excess amount of lead, MSG
- Watch: Michelle Obama's 'Gimme Five' fitness video
- When Subramanian Swamy shocked people at a wedding!
- Mumbaikars join hands to save Pakistani teen with rare illness
- Mumbai: Diamond export company denies job to Muslim youth
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 21, 2015
- PM Modi speaks at Golden Jubilee celebrations of poet Dinkar’s works
- Mirage 2000 fighter jet landing was part of capability demonstration: IAF
- DNA: IAF Mirage 2000 fighter plane lands successfully on Yamuna expressway
- DNA: Osama documents show 'Indian brother in Madinah' financed al Qaeda
- Coal scam: Naveen Jindal, Madhu Koda and others get bail
- Vadodara: Policemen seen dancing with bar girls
- One year of Modi govt: Arun Jaitley addresses press conference
- ISIS executes Syrian fighter using anti-tank rocket launcher
- CBSE Class 10 Results 2015 to be announced today?
- IAF jet lands on Yamuna expressway
- Check Jharkhand Board jac.nic.in: Class 12th Art Results 2015 declared
- Fawad Khan doesn’t want intimate scenes with Sonam Kapoor?
- Log on to apeamcet.org AP EAMCET Results 2015: Andhra Pradesh EAMCET Marks and AP EAMCET Ranks 2015 declared
- We hire only non-Muslim candidates, diamond export firm tells Muslim youth
- Is MSG in 'Maggi' noodles harmful for you?
- Mumbai firm booked for denying Muslim MBA graduate job on religious grounds, probe ordered
- New IPL rules could see Chennai Super Kings lose MS Dhoni
- Jayalalithaa makes public appearance, meets Governor: As it happened
- `Piku` hits jackpot, does Rs 100 crore business worldwide
- Anurag Kashyap to bid goodbye to India, settle in 'cinema-friendly' France!
- SSLC (tnresults.nic.in) Tenth 10th Results 2015: Tamil Nadu Board Class 10th X Higher Secondary exam results 2015 to be announced shortly
- Geelani's passport application incomplete, cannot be processed: MEA
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2, Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore: Preview