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PHR Calls on UN Security Council to Refer Situation in Syria to ICC

April 2012

Physiciansfor Human Rights (PHR) expressed disappointment today in Syria’s failure to withdraw troops from urban areas this morning. The country had agreed to a withdrawal under a United Nations-brokered ceasefire. Rather than abide by its commitment, the Government of Syria has instead continued to attack civilians after the deadline.

In light of the deteriorating situation in Syria, PHR renews its call for the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Although the UN Security Council has publicly called upon the Government of Syria to cease its attacks on the opposition, recent attacks demand stronger action by the Council. A referral to the ICC would send an important signal by the international community that it is committed to ensuring accountability for all those responsible for attacks on civilians in Syria.

Under the ceasefire agreement, both the Syrian government and the opposition are to completely cease all violence by Thursday, April 12. In the interim, PHR urges the Security Council to immediately authorize an effective and impartial monitoring mission to observe Syria’s progress in implementing the ceasefire agreement.

PHR calls on both sides of the conflict to abide by all relevant international laws, to cease all attacks on civilians, and to take immediate steps to abide by the terms of the ceasefire agreement.

Physicians for Human Rights has investigated and produced a report on the Syrian government’s assault on the country’s medical community and civilian populations, including the denial of medical treatment for patients, the arrest and torture of doctors and patients, and the attacks and misuse of medical facilities.

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