Human rights activists are speaking out against Russia and China’s veto of a UN resolution that would have referred the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible war crimes.
“Moscow and Beijing can veto a resolution but they can’t suppress the desire for justice by the Syrian people and the dozens of governments that stood for their rights,” said Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Rights Watch. “With the Syrian crisis entering a fourth year, atrocities raging on all sides, and the death toll skyrocketing well over 150,000, Russia and China’s vote for continued impunity is a disgrace.”
The resolution was defeated on the UN Security Council last Thursday. It was proposed by France and supported by all 13 other Security Council members.
The conflict has had a profound effect on Syrian women. Rape has frequently been exercised as a weapon of war in Syrian conflict zones. Women are further vulnerable to sexual violence in refugee camps in neighbouring countries.
The United States government is expected to explore alternative avenues for prosecution in the coming months.