NPWJ and the NRPTT welcome EU push for accountability for crimes in Syria

2 Mar, 2012 | Press Releases

Brussels – Rome – New York, 2 March 2012

Against reports of fresh violence in Homs, the European Council today issued strongly-worded conclusions calling for accountability for violations being committed in Syria and confirmed their commitment to work with those working to document the crimes. The conclusions were issued after European Heads of State and Government met today in Brussels to discuss the situation in Syria, during which they also recognised the Syrian National Council as a legitimate representative of Syrians” and warned of a new round of sanctions against the regime.

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) welcome the strong and positive stand taken today by Europe’s leaders against impunity and in favour of the victims of the appalling atrocities that have been committed in Syria for months. In the face of these incredibly serious violations, it is critical that more members of the international community speak out against the prevailing culture of impunity and ensure that justice is an integral part of any solution to the Syrian conflict, rather than offering safe haven to President Assad, his forces or supporters.

“NPWJ and the NRPTT also welcome indications by some of Europe’s leaders that they are ready and willing to take up the issue again at the United Nations, including by seeking a UN Security Council referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. Notwithstanding the obstructions of Russia and China, an ICC referral would be an important indication that the world will not stand by idly while crimes like those in Syria are being committed. It would also give teeth to the warning that those who do not stop committing crimes will be held to account, thereby acting as a deterrent and contributing to the protection of civilians in Syria.

“Impunity for the crimes of President Assad’s forces and loyalists has never been part of the solution: it has only ever been part of the problem. When violence is rewarded, overlooked or appeased, the result is only ever more violence. NPWJ and the NRPTT urge all members of the international community to stand up for the victims in Syria and speak out in favour of accountability for the crimes being committed there. We further urge all members of the international community, particularly those who have been appeasing or protecting the Syrian regime, to reconsider their position and if not support justice, democracy and the rule of law, at least stop standing in their way. Justice and accountability are the only way forward for lasting peace and security in Syria and the region; if it could not be achieved yesterday, at least let it begin today.”

For further information, please contact Alison Smith on or +32-(0)2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-(0)2-548-3915.