The U.N. Security Council should refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, an international rights watchdog said on Monday.
"An ICC referral would give the ICC jurisdiction to investigate crimes committed by both the government and the opposition," Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at New York-based Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
"This is one measure that all Security Council members, including Russia, should find it easy to agree on if they are truly concerned about the violations committed in Syria," Houry said.
Russia, a long time Syrian ally, and China have blocked Security Council efforts to condemn the regime of President Bashar Assad.
HRW has consistently documented and denounced human rights abuses both by Assad's forces and rebels.
In its latest statement, it accused rebels of mistreatment, torture and extrajudicial or summary executions in Aleppo, Latakia, and Idlib.
"Extrajudicial or summary executions of detainees in the context of an armed conflict are war crimes, and may constitute crimes against humanity if they are widespread and systematic," the statement said.
Rebel leaders have made pledges they would ensure their forces would respect human rights.
In August, dozens of Free Syrian Army battalions signed a code of conduct in which they committed to "respect human rights according to our legal principles, our tolerant religious principles and international human rights law."
But the pledges are insufficient and "the real test is how opposition forces behave," said Houry.
The HRW statement cited examples of alleged torture and attitudes towards extrajudicial execution by armed rebels, saying some of the methods are reminiscent of those used by the military forces and security forces.
"They beat me every two or three days," said one detainee, who had been held in a school for 25 days before he was transferred to a detention facility by rebel fighters.
"They tied me to a cross with my face down. Five guys started beating me, using cables.
"The first time they hit me for about an hour. The third time they hit me from early in the morning until noon... The FSA fighters wanted me to confess to having killed several people with a knife. Eventually I confessed because they beat me, although I have not killed anybody."
HRW also documented 12 cases of alleged extrajudicial and summary executions by rebels.
It cited the public execution in July of members of the pro-regime al-Berri clan in Aleppo and which was shown in amateur video posted on YouTube by activists.
While the FSA's military council condemned the executions, the rights group said that, "when confronted with evidence of extrajudicial executions, three opposition leaders told HRW that those who were killed deserved to be killed, and that only the worst criminals were being executed."
"All armed forces involved in the hostilities, including non-state armed groups, are required to abide by international humanitarian law," said HRW.
"The FSA... appears to be capable of ensuring respect for international humanitarian law by its forces given its level of organization and control."
The watchdog also urged countries supporting the rebels financially and militarily to condemn publicly abuses committed by the FSA, specifically naming Britain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States.
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