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London: ICC action considered for Syria

June 1, 2012 at 1:14 PM   |   Comments

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GENEVA, Switzerland, June 1 (UPI) -- London is preparing groundwork for referring Syria to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, the British foreign secretary said.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, in a statement, said evidence from the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria confirmed national security forces bombed the village of Houla and that government-backed forces summarily executed "entire families" during a recent massacre.

More than 100 people were allegedly killed at the hands of Syrian forces during the massacre, which Hague described as part of a "pattern of widespread and systematic attacks against civilian populations."

Damascus maintains its dealing with domestic terrorism and blames rebel forces for much of the violence.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the Human Rights Council that violence in Syria was continuing "unabated." This came despite pledges by Damascus to honor an April 12 cease-fire brokered with the help of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The massacre at Houla, she said, may amount to crimes against humanity and other international crimes.

The Human Rights Council, in a vote of 41 to 3, passed a measure calling for an independent investigation into the events at Houla.

"Britain will support these efforts, and will continue to prepare the ground for a referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court," said Hague.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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