American senators want to create 'hybrid tribunal' on Syria, Russia disagrees
A group of influential American senators introduced a bill to prosecute the war crimes committed in Syria (Syrian War Crimes Accountability Act). The bill envisions the possible creation of a hybrid tribunal to judge Assad and his regime, as well as to investigate the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by all sides of the conflict in Syria, including the Jihadist group “Islamic State”.
The “hybrid tribunal” could contain both Syrian and foreign jurists, judges and other professionals, who will be tasked with the court prosecution of entities and individuals suspected of committing the above-mentioned crimes in Syria in the period starting in March 2011. The senators also suggested that the US Secretary of State be given the right to provide support to the entities and organizations which investigate such crimes, gather documents and evidence, conduct the investigation and protect witnesses.
“The United States must lead the international community in holding Assad accountable for his war crimes and his brutal victimization of the Syrian people over the last six years,” said Democrat Senator Ben Cardin, one of the authors of the bill.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on human rights, said that “This bill is a first step towards ensuring accountability for the human rights violations inflicted against innocent civilians in Syria”. “We must bring to justice those responsible for the Syrian regime’s barbaric attacks and repeated use of chemical weapons,” Rubio added.
Russian officials expressed their negative attitude towards the creation of such a tribunal.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin called the American senators’ bill, “exclusivity paranoia”
“Exclusivity paranoia leads not only to impunity, but also to the manic desire to teach, judge and punish everyone,” the Deputy Prime Minister wrote on his Twitter account.