Syria video ‘likely evidence of war crimes’

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REUTERS

File photo: Members of the Free Syrian Army keep watch at a school they took over from pro-government forces few days earlier in Aleppo.

Geneva -

A video showing what appears to be rebels executing Syrian soldiers most probably shows “war crimes” that could be used as evidence to bring the perpetrators to justice, the UN human rights body said Friday.

“It is very likely that this was a war crime, another one,” Rupert Colville, spokesman for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, told reporters in Geneva.

He was reacting to a video posted on YouTube of what appeared to be Syrian rebels beating around 10 soldiers before lining them up on the ground and executing them with automatic rifles.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday that rebels had killed 28 soldiers during attacks on three army checkpoints.

Colville said he and his colleagues had only just seen the video and that it was difficult to verify who was involved.

But, he stressed, the perpetrators should be under no illusion they could get away with their crimes.

“Accountability will follow,” he said, adding that the video could well be used as “evidence” in legal proceedings.

“We call on all parties to the conflict in Syria to respect international law,” he said.

More than 36,000 people have died in the 19-month conflict, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. - Sapa-AFP


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