UNITED NATIONS – A U.N. panel investigating potential war crimes in Syria’s civil war threatened on Friday to release a closely guarded list of names of those it accuses of having raped, tortured and carried out executions.
The move was part of an effort to pressure world powers to pursue justice for what it calls crimes that “shock the conscience of humanity.”
The confidential lists contain scores of names, according to the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, and have been seen by no one other than its four members.
The commission, in a report released Friday, said it was considering releasing the names at the annual meeting of the Human Rights Council in March, saying that not doing so “at this juncture of the investigation would be to reinforce the impunity that the commission was mandated to combat.”
The report said the confidential list included “commanders of army and security units, including heads of detention facilities and other individuals operating under the command of the government or in its support, and commanders of nonstate armed groups.”
What it would take for the panel to decide to publish the names remained unclear. The commission’s chairman, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, said only that victims had the right to know and that he and his fellow commissioners would make a decision soon.
Another commission member, Vitit Muntarbhorn, said the panel had refrained from revealing the names in consideration of due process.
New York Times