The Dutch government announced Friday that the Netherlands would seek to hold Syria accountable for human rights violations of its citizens. The Dutch government further explained that the Assad regime has violated the UN Convention against Torture in its ongoing civil war.
In a letter to the Dutch parliament, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok remarked:
Today the Netherlands announced its decision to hold Syria responsible under international law for gross human rights violations and torture in particular. … The Assad regime has committed horrific crimes time after time. The evidence is overwhelming. There must be consequence. Large numbers of Syrians have been tortured, murdered, forcibly disappeared, and subjected to poison-gas attacks, or have lost everything fleeing for their lives…The Assad regime has not hesitated to crack down hard on its own population, using torture and chemical weapons, and bombing hospitals. The victims of these serious crimes must obtain justice, and we are pursuing that end by calling the perpetrators to account.
The Netherlands plans to prepare a case against the Assad regime in the UN highest court in the International Court of Justice.
The Netherlands’ plans follow after Russia blocked similar efforts to bring a case by the UN Security Council.