Chlorine gas attacks in Aleppo are “crimes against humanity” says former war crimes prosecutor
David Crane, Professor of Practice at Syracuse University College of Law, founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and co-founder of the Syrian Accountability Project said the recent chlorine gas attacks on civilians amounts to “war crimes.”
“The alleged use of gas by warring parties in the Syrian conflict, particularly the Assad regime, but Islamic State as well, violate several international treaties and the basic tenets of international humanitarian law. All this amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” said Crane. “The use of gas in conflict is rare due to the international protocols and is a dangerous precedent in Syria. The Aleppo incident is a sad example of that precedent.”
Recently, Professor Crane and Syracuse University law students founded the Syrian Accountability Project which has collected more than 12,000 incidences of war crimes committed against the Syrian people by President Assad’s forces as well as the Islamic State. Earlier this year, they released a report detailing rapes committed by forces on all sides of the protracted conflict. Of the many findings, the report showed that the Syrian regime perpetrated 62 percent of the total incidents. While serving as the UN’s chief prosecutor, Crane was responsible for the indictment of former Liberian president Charles Taylor for his role in war crimes in Sierra Leone. Taylor was later found guilty and sentenced to 50 years in prison, the first time a head of state was convicted since the Nuremberg trials.
Professor Crane is available for interviews with media about the ongoing Syrian war and all recent developments. Please contact Ellen James Mbuqe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315.443.1897 or Martin Walls at email@example.com or 315.443.9566.