UN Court demands Syria stops torturing prisoners

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) demands that Syria stop torturing prisoners and asks the regime to preserve all evidence of the practice. The Netherlands and Canada accuse the regime of Bashar al-Assad of flagrant violations of the United Nations Convention against Torture. Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP/NTB

By NTB | 16.11.2023 16:09:31

Policy: Syria must introduce all possible measures to prevent “torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, affirms the Court.

The governments of the Netherlands and Canada have accused the Syrian regime of flagrant violations of the United Nations Convention against Torture, including using chemical weapons against civilians and torturing prisoners. They also asked the court to issue a temporary order ordering Syria to cease all torture while the case is pending.

The ICJ is the supreme legal organ of the UN. It rules on disputes between states and issues advisory opinions in cases submitted to the court by international organizations. The 15 judges are elected by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council for nine years at a time.

The Court’s decisions are only binding on States if they have previously undertaken to comply with them.

The move comes a day after a French court issued an international arrest warrant for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for alleged complicity in crimes against humanity in the Syrian civil war.