War crimes in Syria

Responding to a breach of international law by perpetrating another illegal act is not an appropriate way to deal with Syria’s use of chemical weapons, according to John Perkins, Secular Party president.

“Are the lessons of history never learnt?” asked Dr Perkins. “The Secular Party supports the use of international legal institutions. The United Nations Security Council is the only body that can legally authorise action against Syria.”

Dr Perkins expressed disgust at the slaughter of unarmed civilians, and emphasised that it should be treated as the war crime that it undoubtedly is.

“Crimes against humanity should be dealt with by legal means in the International Criminal Court,” he said, “not with violent punitive attacks.”
Dr Perkins added that Australia should use its position as head of the United Nations Security Council to insist that a legal route be taken in dealing with the grave situation in Syria.

“This is particularly important in a world increasingly wracked by sectarian religious violence,” he said. “The international community should set higher standards. Ex-judicial actions and targeted assassinations are a backward step, and will not serve to diminish certain cultural propensities for religious violence.”

Dr Perkins suggested that rather than withdrawing an issue from a vote in the Security Council due to an anticipated veto, votes should proceed so that member countries’ positions are placed on the public record. “This may help the role of the veto to be exposed as an often unjustified impediment to effective action on urgent world issues,” he said.

Dr Perkins concluded by stating that the Secular Party stands for the promotion of universal standards of justice.

Aug 30, 2013

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