Joanne Faulkner,

Editor ( Middle East)

GENEVA –  UN inspectors investigating war crimes and crimes against humanity have stated they have evidence that implicates Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

Navi Pillay, the UN’s human rights chief,  has for the first time directly implicated figures in at the highest level within the Syrian government, openly accusing the serving president of being directly responsible of committing serious crimes against his people. Ms.Pillay told a press conference that a list of those directly responsible  had been compiled by the UN Commission of Inquiry. Whilst it has been known for sometime that atrocities were being committed in Syria, this is the first time the blame has been so openly directed at the Syrian regime by the UN’s human rights office.

Following Ms.Pillay’s remarks, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, retorted  “she has been talking nonsense for a long time and we don’t listen to her”.

Ms. Pillay has called for Syria to be referred to  the International Criminal Court.

In the past,  rebels fighting Assad’s regime have also been accused of being guilty of war crimes.

Pillay said of the evidence, ” (it) remain sealed until I am requested to furnish them to credible investigation…it could be a national investigation or international investigation.”

Talks regarding the Syrian conflict are set to take place next year at the  Geneva II peace conference. The main issue will be whether Assad can be allowed to remain in power once the fighting finally stops.

It is believed over a 100,000 people have died since the conflict began.


Image Courtesy:By Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom from Brazil (Bashar Al-Assad), via Wikimedia Commons