The Hague, May 29, 2012 (FH) - In a interview to the French daily Le Monde, the new minister for Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius declared that “those responsible for the crimes committed in Syria will end up answering for their actions in the courts”. He added that France was “in favor of referring the matter to the ICC”.

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Syria is not part of the Rome statute. To start an investigation, ICC must be requested to do so by the UN Security Council. However, there has been so far a “lack of consensus at the UN Security Council, because of the Russians and Chinese”, Fabius noted.

“Russia must stop obstructing the UN Security Council from taking decisive action to end the suffering in Syria,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Program Director in a written statement released on May 28. “Most importantly, it should support the transfer of the situation in Syria to the ICC”, he added.

13,000 people are reported to have been killed since the beginning of the uprising in March 2011, according to Amnesty International. On May 26, hundreds of civilians were killed in the town of Houla by militia allegedly backed by the regime.

“The high civilian death toll – including scores of women and children – in Houla must spur the Security Council to act in unison and immediately refer the situation in Syria to the ICC,” said Philip Luther.