UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] on Monday briefed the UN Security Council on the situation in Syria, reiterating her call for a referral [press release] to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. Pillay reported that more than 5,000 civilians have been killed in the ongoing conflict, including more than 300 children. She also said that there were reports of torture in detention centers. Speaking to reporters after the briefing, Pillay said [video]:
This is what I recommended to the Security Council: I indicated in some detail the evidence. And so it is based on the evidence and the widespread and systematic nature of the killings, the detentions and the acts of torture that I felt that these acts constituted crimes against humanity, and I recommended that there should be a referral to the International Criminal Court.Pillay also called on the Syrian government to allow human rights monitors into the country and to cooperate fully with the investigations.
Earlier this month, the UN Human Rights Council [official website] adopted a resolution strongly condemning the recent violence [JURIST report] in Syria. The resolution came after the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria reported that the Syrian government has committed numerous human rights violations [JURIST report] including torture, sexual violence, use of excessive force and violations of the right to peaceful assembly. Last month the UN General Assembly's Human Rights Committee approved [JURIST report] a draft resolution [materials] condemning Syria's human rights violations and calling for their immediate end. Pillay previously called for an ICC probe [JURIST report] into the situation in Syria in August.