Why Aren’t There War Crimes Charged in Syria?

It started with anti-government protests which turned into a civil war. Half a million Syrians have been affected by this tragedy. More than millions were forced to leave their homes due to the conflicts of the loyalists and opposition.

What happened on March 2011 changed the faith of Syria. Pro-democratic protests were started when teenagers were arrested and tortured when they painted revolutionary slogans on school walls, this triggered protest to evict the President from his office. When the opposition supporters started to uprise, a civil war was already onset.

The United Nations said that in June 2013, 90,000 people were killed, which rose to 250,000 in August 2015, cited by activists and the UN.

The small protest turned into a bigger battle which included regional as well as world powers. It also triggered the creation of jihadist group Islamic State (IS) to further aggravate the problem.

The people all over the world have witnessed the terrifying consequences of the war, from television news, up to the short clips found on various social media sites. People only have one thing in mind, “Why aren’t there war crimes charged in Syria?”

Several allegations were being charged to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and there are a lot of clips and pieces of evidence to charge him and his commanders with war crimes – but why weren’t they charged yet?

The United Nations Security Council has urged the international community to act now. Crimes in Syria are worsening, especially when foreign fighters step in. The conflict becomes more militarized due to the presence of high-grade weapons.

Several world leaders have also called on the public to help Syria, stating that we must turn back on crimes and face justice for the lives that were taken.

One way to settle the dispute is turning to the International Crime Court in the United Nations. Unfortunately, Assad is protected by the international law, because Syria is not a state party to the ICC; therefore, the prosecutors do not have the right to judge or preside hearings committed in the country.  An ICC trial could heighten his cause more, as we saw the case of Moammar Gadhafi, where people are more determined to fight to the death when they put him on trial; especially they know that they, too, would be brought to jail.

If he is to be charged, Assad is not afraid of a trial, because it isn’t his “first concern.” He knows that if he turns his back on this problem, even for a section, he will lose the struggle. He knows that he might face international charges someday, but he will not be scared and must continue to defend his belief.

We will just keep monitoring actions in Syria, documenting every tragedy and intercepting military communication, and possibly interrupting his vengeful rampage. We hope when the time comes that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his senior commanders be put to trial, we have dozens of evidence that will put them straight to jail.

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