Switzerland has appealed to the UN Security Council on Friday to prosecute war crimes in Iraq under the International Criminal Court (ICC). It also reiterated its support for a similar ICC intervention in Syria.
At a high-level debate in New York on victims of ethnic or religious attacks in the Middle East, Swiss deputy permanent representative to the UN Olivier Zehnder, called on the Security Council to give the ICC the mandate to investigate the situation in Iraq.
“It [Switzerland] is extremely concerned by the credible allegations made by the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the situation in Iraq that the self-proclaimed Islamic State and other extremist groups may have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide,” he said
He also reiterated Switzerland’s support for ICC intervention in Syria. In May last year, Switzerland had backed an initiative by some members of the Security Council to refer the Syrian civil war dossier to the ICC for possible prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity. But the move was blocked by a veto from China and Russia.
“We regret the rejection of the resolution presented to the Security Council on this matter and will pursue our efforts in this area,” said Zehnder referring to the veto.
The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who chaired the Friday meeting, said it is “essential” that the Security Council refers the case to the ICC.
swissinfo.ch and agencies