France backs call for ICC probe into Syria unrest

PARIS — France threw its support on Friday behind a call from the United Nations human rights chief for the International Criminal Court to investigate the violence in Syria.

By (AFP)

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Published: Fri 19 Aug 2011, 7:02 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:28 PM

On Thursday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told members of the Security Council that there was “reliable corroborative evidence” that Syrian forces are deliberately shooting anti-regime demonstrators.

She called for the evidence to be passed to the ICC so that it could launch a criminal investigation, but admitted after the briefing that, judging by the reaction of the council, she saw “little hope” of that happening.

But one of the council members, France, gave its backing.

“France gives full support to the recommendations made in the report by the High Commission for Human Rights, and in particular for the proposal that the Security Council ask the ICC to take action,” the foreign ministry said.

After the UN briefing, France’s UN envoy Martin Briens told journalists the report by a 13-strong team of UN experts had been “frightening”.

Pillay said her team told the council of summary killings and kidnappings, including an incident in a stadium in the city of Daraa, where 26 blindfolded men were allegedly shot dead execution-style on May 1.

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