Lama Fakih: "The risk of atrocities in Syria is not over with the government takeover of Aleppo. Unless combatants and commanders on all sides can see that there could be consequences for their unlawful actions, we will see more crimes replay themselves in other places"

posted 19 Dec 2016, 01:23 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 19 Dec 2016, 01:24 ]
“It has been heart-wrenching to hear the desperate pleas for protection from civilians stuck in the inferno that is Aleppo. The Syrian authorities should ensure that civilians are allowed to safely leave the city and to go where they want. The risk of atrocities in Syria is not over with the government takeover of Aleppo. Unless combatants and commanders on all sides can see that there could be consequences for their unlawful actions, we will see more crimes replay themselves in other places.”

Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch

In a statement issued by Human Rights Watch on 13 December 2016, the organization said: "In light of Russia’s and China’s repeated use of the veto to block action to protect civilians in Syria, members of the UN Security Council should immediately request an emergency special session of the General Assembly, which would require the support of at least nine members of the UN Security Council and could not be vetoed. Building on the resolution it adopted last week with an overwhelming majority of 122 members of the UN, the General Assembly, once convened in an emergency special session, should reiterate its demand for an end to unlawful attacks in Syria and call for immediate access for independent monitors. If the Security Council remains incapable of initiating an emergency special session, members of the General Assembly should do it themselves, Human Rights Watch said. In connection with the ground offensive, the Russian-Syrian coalition has conducted an intensive bombardment campaign of Aleppo, which included indiscriminate attacks, killing hundreds of civilians. A Human Rights Watch investigation of aerial attacks in September and October found that the coalition had committed war crimes. Human Rights Watch also documented that armed opposition groups indiscriminately attacked government-controlled parts of Aleppo. The General Assembly should create a special investigative mechanism mandated to collect and preserve potential evidence for future criminal prosecutions."

Source:
'Syria: Desperate Pleas for Protection from Aleppo. Protect Civilians, Grant Access to Independent Monitors,' Human Rights Watch, 13 December 2016

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