UN Rights Chief: Evidence Points to War Crimes by Assad

Quickly Backs Off Statement Because List of Suspects Is Secret

UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay appears to have made a major gaffe today, announcing in comments at a news conference that the secret evidence compiled by UN investigators points to “war crimes” responsibility at the highest levels of Syria’s government, including President Bashar Assad.

That’s not really a surprise, as most experts agree that there are major human rights violations being committed on both sides, but pointing at Assad as the head of state was not supposed to happen, because the list of suspects is supposed to be a closely guarded secret.

Pillay was quick to backtrack, insisting that she hadn’t specifically said that Assad was a suspect, and conceded that she can neither confirm nor deny anyone on the list of suspects.

That’s because that list was given to her recently by the UN investigators specifically for “safe storage,” with an eye toward eventually charging the various war criminals on all sides of the conflict if and when the war even ends. Needless to say, charging the losing side will be much easier than charging the victors.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.