The Netherlands holds Syria liable for human rights violations

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The Netherlands has held Syria liable for the human rights violations in the country, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs reports Friday.

More than 200,000 Syrians died

“The Assad regime has been guilty of terrible crimes time and again,” said Blok. “The evidence is abundantly clear. This cannot be without consequences.”

In recent years, reports have been drawn up by several organizations about civilians who are widely tortured, attacked with poison gas and murdered under the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

The procedure is a first step in dispute resolution. If the Netherlands cannot reach an agreement with Syria and not enough is done to stop the human rights violations, the Netherlands can as a last option refer the case to an international court.

More than 200,000 Syrians have died since the war in the country. “According to some sources a lot more”, said Blok. “In addition, some 100,000 people are missing. More than 6 million Syrians have been displaced within their own country and 5.5 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries, Europe and beyond.”

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the regime of Bashar al-Assad does not shy away from being “tough on its own population”.

Russia previously blocked attempts to have the crimes against the Syrian population investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC). State liability is a new route. The Netherlands has also instituted such a procedure against Russia regarding MH17.

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