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UN Rights Chief Urges ICC Referral Of Syrian Crimes

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay
The UN's human rights chief has called for the situation in Syria to be referred to the International Criminal Court over allegations that the Syrian regime's crackdown on opposition protesters has led to crimes against humanity.

Navi Pillay, United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights, said fresh reports from Syria reinforced the need for the UN Security Council to submit the situation in Syria to the Hague-based court.

Pillay was speaking at a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on December 2.

The emergency session was called after independent investigators found evidence security forces murdered and tortured civilians following orders from top officials in President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Pillay said more then 4,000 people -- including 307 children -- have been killed in the military crackdown since March and more than 14,000 people are believed to be held in detention.

She said the regime's "ruthless repression" risked driving the country into a full-fledged civil war.

compiled from agency reports