Document - Syria: UN report on the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Ghouta district of Damascus on 21 August 2013

The UN Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic investigating the 21 August attacks have found convincing evidence that chemical weapons have been used on a large scale in the Ghouta area of Damascus

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

PUBLIC STATEMENT

AI Index: MDE 24/051/2013

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Syria: UN report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta District of Damascus on 21 August 2013

The UN Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic investigating the 21 August attacks on the outskirts of Damascus on Monday reported that it had found convincing evidence that chemical weapons were used on a large scale.

Amnesty International condemns the use of chemical weapons in the strongest possible terms. They are internationally banned and their use is a war crime.

Crimes under international law are being perpetrated on a daily basis in Syria. Accountability for the 21 August attacks and other violations are long overdue.

We reiterate our call for the UN-mandated Commission of Inquiry on Syria to be given immediate and unfettered access to Syria to seek to uncover further evidence about who was responsible for these attacks. It should also be allowed to investigate the other crimes under international law being committed by all parties to the conflict.

Amnesty International also urges the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court and to insist that the Syrian government grants cross-border access, as well as cross-line access, to humanitarian aid. All parties to the conflict must allow provision of assistance on the basis of need, without discrimination.