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

29 January 2015

The conflict in Nigeria has taken the lives of thousands of men, women and children, many at the hands of armed group Boko Haram. Here’s everything you need to know about the... Read more »

22 January 2015

The Attorney General of Mexico has failed to properly investigate all lines of inquiry into allegations of complicity by armed forces and others in authority in the... Read more »

26 January 2015

Tucked in a dark corner of a secret detention centre in The Philippines was a mock-up of the multicolour wheel used in the "Wheel of Fortune". But rather than spinning for... Read more »

20 January 2015

European governments that cooperated with the CIA’s secret detention, interrogation, and torture operations as part of the USA’s global “war on terror” must act urgently... Read more »

29 January 2015

Further floggings of Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi could cause debilitating long-term physical and mental damage, a medical expert from the charity Freedom from Torture has... Read more »