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Ignoring humanitarian law is an open sore for the international community
Syracuse University College of Law Professor David Crane, a former war crimes prosecutor, offers insight on the latest round of deadly bombings, killing civilians and children, by the government-back Syrian forces.
“The continued ignoring of international humanitarian law by all parties to the Syrian conflict, particularly the Syrian Army backed by Russia, Iran and others, is an open sore for the international community. The recent attack this week is indicative of the stepping away from the rule of law to seek any objective runs contrary to the trend of restoring a balance between law and the use of force,” says Crane.
“In the kaleidoscopic dirty little wars of the 21st century the essential fabric of world stability is tearing away from the cornerstone of the UN charter. That is to use force only as a last resort in an attempt to resolve disputes peaceably,” says Crane.
Prof. Crane is the founder of the Syrian Accountability Project out of the College of Law at Syracuse University. The group works to document war crimes in Syria and the national and international laws that have been violated. This is an effort to eventually bring the perpetrators to justice.
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. Also in 2017, the group released “Report On The Yazidi Genocide: Mapping Atrocity In Iraq and Syria” which detailed ISIS’ crimes against the Yazidi community and related war crimes.
From 2002 to 2005, Prof. Crane was the founding chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, an international war crimes tribunal. He indicted 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. He is the co-editor of the newly-published book The Founders, which tells the story of the four who created the world’s first international tribunals and special courts.
Prof. Crane is available to speak to media via phone, email, Skype, or LTN studio. Please contact Ellen James Mbuqe, director of news and PR at Syracuse University, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315.443.1897 or Keith Kobland, media manager at Syracuse University, at email@example.com or 315.443.9038.