Bloomberg News

UN’s Pillay Raises Syria’s Death Toll to More than 5,000

December 12, 2011

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The United Nation’s top human-rights official asked the Security Council to refer Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown against protesters to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, raising her forecast for the number of dead to more than 5,000.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today told the 15-member body in closed consultations that the situation was intolerable and urgently required international criminal accountability. With the killings over the weekend, it was her estimation that the number of dead was “probably exceeding 5,000.” On Dec. 9, she had stuck to a Dec. 1 estimate of more than 4,000.

“I am really shocked about what I heard about the atrocities in Syria,’’ German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told reporters in New York after being briefed by Pillay. “It is necessary for those countries in the Security Council that are still hesitating to change their mind.”

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at fjackson@bloomberg.net


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