Thursday, July 21, 2011

Killing of Syrian civilians 'crime against humanity', says US ambassador

Stephen Rapp, diplomat in charge of investigating war crimes, believes Damascus officials will be brought to justice

Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent, Wednesday 20 July 2011

"The killing of Syrian civilians demanding democracy is a "crime against humanity", according to the US ambassador in charge of investigating war crimes.

Stephen Rapp, who has been in London discussing how to bring international pressure to bear on Bashar al-Assad's regime, believes that government officials in Damascus will eventually be brought to justice.

"We are watching the situation in Syria very closely," Rapp told the Guardian.

"We see crimes against humanity. As a former prosecutor [in the special court for Sierra Leone] I can't tell whether it's … systematic attacks against civilians based on a plan.

"But it is clearly violence that has caused more than 1,000 deaths [among] civilians who were asking for democratic rights. It constitutes a crime against humanity. That needs to stop and there needs to be accountability."...."

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