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Dutch pursuit of torture case against Syria prompts terror accusation from Damascus

September 20, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The Syrian government accused the Dutch government of supporting terrorism on Saturday in response to the Netherlands' invocation of an anti-torture convention against Damascus.

(CNN)The Syrian government accused the Dutch government of supporting terrorism on Saturday in response to the Netherlands' invocation of an anti-torture convention against Damascus.

The rebuke comes a day after the Dutch government said it is seeking to hold the Syrian government accountable for widespread human rights violations under international law, including the UN Convention against Torture.

There must be consequences," Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok said in a statement published on the ministry's website.

Blok said the Syrian government had been informed of the decision by a diplomatic note, which called on Damascus to cease human rights violations and offer reparations to victims.

Large numbers of Syrians have been tortured, murdered, forcibly disappeared, and subjected to poison-gas attacks, or have lost everything fleeing for their lives," the Dutch government statement said.

The Dutch government asked Syria to enter into negotiations, saying that doing so is "a necessary first step in dispute settlement. "

It appears unlikely that the offer of negotiations will be accepted by Damascus, which, through its foreign ministry, responded to the announcement by accusing the Dutch government of financing and supporting militant groups in Syria.

If the two countries are unable to resolve the dispute, the Netherlands can submit the case to arbitration, and if no agreement is reached, it will submit the case to an international court, according to the Dutch statement.

In a statement, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said the Netherlands' action "is nothing but a maneuver to camouflage the scandals of that regime and a desperate attempt to get what it couldn't through its support for terrorist organizations in Syria. "

The Dutch government said about 200,000 Syrian civilians have died in the civil war in Syria since 2011 and that about 100,000 are missing.

"All those, particularly governments, that have been appalled by the widespread brutality documented in Syria should publicly welcome this step and explore similar ways to assert the rule of law," Jarrah said in a statement released Friday.

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