Someday Assad Will Be Held Accountable, Says War Crimes Prosecutor David Crane
“The indiscriminate use of a prohibited weapon system such as a nerve agent like sarin if inconceivable in the modern era. Yet Assad has chosen to take a step back into the dark ages by taking the horror of a genie out of the bottle. Some day he will be held accountable. He hears our footsteps and there will be a knock at this door,” said Crane.
Prof. Crane is the founder of the Syrian Accountability Project out of the College of Law at Sryacuse University. The group works to document war crimes in Syria and the laws that have been violated. This is an effort to eventually bring the perpetrators to justice.
In April they released the whitepaper Idlib Left Breathless: A Report on the Chemical Attack in Khan Sheikhoun which details the April 4, 2017 attack that killed at least 87 people and injured more than 500. The paper offers compelling evidence that the gas used in the attack was the nerve agent sarin, one of the most potent and fast-acting chemical weapons, banned under international law ever since the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.
Previously, the group released the 2016 whitepaper Looking Through the Window Darkly, a Snapshot Analysis of Rape in Syria, 2011-2015, which analyzed 142 sexual crimes perpetrated by all sides in the Syrian Civil War and which revealed that the Syrian Regime perpetrated 62% of the total incidents. In 2017, the group also released the whitepaper Covered in Dust, Veiled by Shadow that detailed 160 day siege of Aleppo by Assad forces.
From 2002 to 2005, Prof. Crane was the founding chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, an international war crimes tribunal. Of those he indicted included Liberian President Charles Taylor, the first sitting African head of state in history to be held accountable in this way. Prof. Crane is also one of the co-authors of the Cesaer Report published in 2014 and detailing the torture and deaths in Syrian prisons.
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