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Netherlands vows to hold Syria responsible for 'gross human rights violations and torture'

(Photo of Stef Block, Foreign Minister of Netherlands)

The Netherlands has announced that it is preparing a case against Syria at the UN’s International Court of Justice and is seeking to hold President Bashar al-Assad accountable for human rights violations, including torture and the use of chemical weapons.

In a letter to legislator’s, Netherland’s Foreign Minister, Stef Blok, stated:

“Today the Netherlands announced its decision to hold Syria responsible under international law for gross human rights violations and torture in particular”.

The letter further stated:

“The Assad regime has committed horrific crimes time after time. The evidence is overwhelming. There must be consequences […] Large numbers of Syrians have been tortured, murdered, forcibly disappeared, and subjected to poison-gas attacks, or have lost everything fleeing for their lives.”

This decisions by the Netherlands follows multiple efforts which were blocked by Russia at the United Nations Security Council to refer a case on human rights violations in Syria to the International Criminal Court, which prosecutes individuals for war crimes and is also based in The Hague.

The Netherlands has reported that the Syrian conflict has claimed the lives of at least 200,000 civilians, left 100,000 missing and forced 5.5 million to flee to neighbouring countries.

Read more from Reuters 

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