Human Rights Council must hold the Security Council Responsible for the Mounting War Crimes in Syria
SNHR has published the report:” Detailed Account of One Month of Syrian-Russian Attacks on the Neighborhoods of Eastern Aleppo”
The report documents the most notable violations of human rights that were perpetrated by government forces and their allies the Russian forces in the neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo one month after Cessation of Hostilities statement ended on 19 September 2016 which. The report draws upon the archive that has been built over the course of the period covered by the report through the daily and ongoing documentation and monitoring in addition to accounts from survivors and eyewitnesses.
The report notes that Neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo have been under siege since the beginning of September 2016 where the medical situation is deteriorating in light of the shortage in medical resources and the medical points’ and hospitals’ limited capacity that is unable to take in the huge numbers of the injured. Additionally, the Syrian regime and its allies prevent anyone from getting in or outside the city, and local relief organizations don’t even think of passing the regime’s and its militias’ checkpoints.
Also, the report notes that a large part of the service infrastructure was damaged as a result of the concentrated and continued bombardment on eastern Aleppo’s neighborhoods. The General Management of Services has announced on Tuesday 18 October 2016 that 80% of the drinking-water network in the city is inoperable and the maintenance was halted on account of the lack of necessary materials.
Fadel Abdul Ghani, chairman of SNHR, says:
“We certainly welcome the U.N. emergency meeting on Friday, and we put all the documented incidents and civilian death toll before them. The Human Rights Council has to issue a strong and clear message to the Security Council as a whole and to the inhumane and immoral Russian veto. The history books will always remember, and the memories of Rwanda and Bosnia are still vividly present in our minds.”
The report documents the killing of 414 civilians including 338 civilians killed by Russian forces among whom were 104 children and 54 women whereas government forces killed 76 civilians including 14 children and nine women.
Furthermore, the report records that Russian forces perpetrated 16 massacres and carried out 30 attacks on vital civil facilities while government forces perpetrated three massacres and carried out four attacks on vital civil facilitates.
The report also documents six attacks that involved the use by incendiary weapons by forces we believe are Russian while government forces helicopters dropped 151 barrel bombs on the neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo.
The report stresses that the Russian and Syrian regimes have, beyond any doubt, violated Security Council Resolutions 2139 and 2254 which both state that indiscriminate attacks must be halted. Also, they violated Article 8 of Rome Statute through the act of willful killing which constitutes war crimes.
Additionally, the bombardment mentioned in this report has targeted armless civilians. Therefore, the Russian and Syrian forces have violated the rules of the international human rights law which guarantee the right to life. Additionally, these violations were perpetrated in a non-international armed conflict which amount to a war crime where all elements were fulfilled.
The report calls for investigations to be launched regarding the mentioned incidents. Also, the Syrian people must be informed about the findings of these investigations and all those who were responsible must be held accountable. Additionally, all affected centers and facilities must be compensated, rebuilt and re-equipped. In addition, all the families of the victims and wounded, who were killed by the present Russian regime, must be compensated.
Also, the recommendations included a call on the Security Council to take additional steps as it has been a year since Resolution 2254 was adopted which states explicitly “that all parties immediately cease any attacks against civilians and civilian objects as such, including attacks against medical facilities and personnel, and any indiscriminate use of weapons, including through shelling and aerial bombardment.”
The report calls for the referral of the Syrian case to the International Criminal Court and for all those who were responsible to be held accountable including the Russian regime whose involvement in war crimes has been proven. Furthermore, the Security Council has to instill peace and security in Syria and implement the norm of the Responsibility to Protect in order to save the Syrian people’s lives, culture, and arts from being destroyed, stolen, and ruined. Lastly, the report calls on the Security Council to expand the sanctions to include the Russian and Iranian regimes who are directly involved in committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Syrian people.