Fanning the Flames of Justice in Syria

CHICAGO – Justice will be a long time coming in Syria, but it can begin with a Security Council referral of the situation in that wounded country to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for investigation and, ultimately, prosecution. The obstacles are serious, but the goal is imperative.

This week, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé called for such a referral to the ICC during a session of the UN Human Rights Council that sharply attacked the Syrian regime for its deadly assaults on civilians in Homs and elsewhere in Syria. A report by UN legal experts found that crimes against humanity are being waged by Syrian forces against civilians under the leadership of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned of the prospect of war-crimes charges against Assad. Tunisia, seeking to induce Assad to leave, offered him asylum.