Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

20 July 2012

Syrian forces and armed groups will be held criminally responsible for war crimes

Syrian forces and armed groups will be held criminally responsible for war crimes
As members of the opposition become better equipped with weapons and armaments, more and more civilians are being exposed to danger as fighting intensifies in populated urban areas.

As members of the opposition become better equipped with weapons and armaments, more and more civilians are being exposed to danger as fighting intensifies in populated urban areas.

© Vedat Xhymshiti/Demotix


A pattern is emerging of orders being issued to civilians to move out of urban areas, raising fears that the authorities intend to increase the intensity of assault on neighbourhoods they plan to attack
Source: 
Donatella Rovera, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International
Date: 
Fri, 20/07/2012

Orders to clear the streets of Damascus issued by the Syrian authorities do not open the door to a legal bombardment of residential areas, Amnesty International said today.

“A pattern is emerging of orders being issued to civilians to move out of urban areas, raising fears that the authorities intend to increase the intensity of assault on neighbourhoods they plan to attack,” said Donatella Rovera, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International.

“The fact that an order has been issued does not mean that the area has actually been cleared, which could result in   more and more   people coming under attack.”

The Syrian armed forces and members of armed opposition groups such as the Free Syria Army (FSA) may be held criminally responsible if they fail to protect the civilian population caught up in this conflict, with resultant unlawful killings.

As members of the opposition become better equipped with weapons and armaments, more and more civilians are being exposed to danger as fighting intensifies in populated urban areas.

“With the opposition’s greater access to heavy weaponry comes increased responsibility,” said Donatella Rovera.  “The safety of civilians should never be an afterthought and both sides must recognise the increased risk of taking the fight into civilian areas.”  

“Members of the opposition are no more immune from these responsibilities than government forces.”

Issue

Armed Conflict 
Armed Groups 
Crimes Against Humanity And War Crimes 
Extrajudicial Executions And Other Unlawful Killings 
International Justice 
MENA unrest 

Country

Syria 

Region

Middle East And North Africa 

Campaigns

International Justice 

Follow #eyesonsyria @amnestyonline on twitter

News

11 April 2014

There are mounting fears over the fate of  a man who went missing 11 days ago after tweeting pictures of an attempted jail break in Abuja, Amnesty International said today... Read more »

08 April 2014

Rick Perry must stop Wednesday’s execution of Ramiro Hernández Llanas, a Mexican national with a mental disability.

Read more »
14 April 2014

The early release in Viet Nam of several prisoners of conscience is welcome, but serves to highlight the situation of at least 70 others who remain jailed for peacefully... Read more »

09 April 2014

A new resource to arm lawyers, defendants and the judiciary with the tools to fight against unfair trials and injustice is published by Amnesty International today.

Read more »
16 April 2014

Ten years after serving a full sentence for his revelations to the press about Israel’s nuclear weapons programme, Mordechai Vanunu still faces severe restrictions that... Read more »