UN Links Assad to War Crimes in Syria for First Time

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 2 2013 6:55 PM

UN Links Assad to War Crimes in Syria for First Time

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is linked to war crimes by a UN official.

Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations’ top human rights official for the first time linked Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in his country. On Monday, Navi Pillay, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights said that a UN panel investigating abuses in Syria found “massive evidence” of war crimes. Pillay said in a press conference, the New York Times reports, “they point to the fact that the evidence indicates responsibility at the highest level of government, including the head of state.”

Pillay’s frank remarks about Assad’s role in possible human rights violations were unusual, Al Jazeera reports, because they are “at odds with a policy of keeping the identity of alleged perpetrators under wraps pending any judicial process.” Syria’s deputy Foreign Minister responded to Pillay’s comments, telling the Associated Press: "she has been talking nonsense for a long time and we don't listen to her.” The UN panel has not been allowed to investigate inside Syria, according to the Los Angeles Times, and relies on information from interviews with refugees and Skype conversations with people in Syria.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.