The U.N.’s top human rights official said on Friday that the Syrian forces and allied “shabbiha” militia who stand accused of committing a massacre in Houla may be liable for prosecution for crimes against humanity.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay also called for the international community to support the Syria peace plan and a probe into the killing of more than 100 civilians in Houla last week.
“These acts may amount to crimes against humanity and other international crimes and may be indicative of a pattern of widespread or systematic attacks against civilian populations that have been perpetrated with impunity,” said Pillay, in a speech read out on her behalf to a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Pillay, a former war crimes judge, added: “I reiterate that those who order, assist or fail to stop attacks on civilians are individually criminally liable for their actions.”
She said that without this the country risks descending into a full civil war.
Meanwhile, as many as 63 people have been killed by the gunfire of Syrian forces on Thursday.
The 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council is meeting in Geneva on Friday 1/6/2012 to discuss the situation in Syria for the fourth time since the start of violence last year.
Qatar, Turkey and the U.S. have submitted a draft resolution which condemns the “outrageous” killing of 49 children in Houla and calls for a “comprehensive, independent and unfettered special inquiry.”
Other countries back the condemnation of Syria but are resisting a specific reference to the International Criminal Court.