On Tuesday 4 April 2017, a chemical attack targeted the city of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, killing more than 70 and injuring hundreds. Demand justice now.
Although Russian and Syrian authorities say they are not responsible, an investigation must take place to identify perpetrators and bring them to justice. Since 2013, several chemical attacks against civilians have been carried out by government forces and armed groups – yet nobody has been brought to justice. They are getting away with it, without punishment.
The conflict in Syria has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands and led millions of people – more than half the population – to flee their homes, either abroad or within Syria.
Today, the people responsible for these atrocities remain out of the reach of justice, and civilians continue to suffer every day.
It’s time to deliver justice and reparation for victims and their families. It’s time to ensure that war crimes and crimes against humanity do not go unpunished.
Without justice and accountability, attacks like yesterday’s risk being repeated.
The Australian Government must strongly support a UN Security Council resolution to immediately investigate this attack and help bring those responsible to justice.
Update 10/04/2017: Following Thursday’s United States airstrikes against a Syrian army airbase in Homs, three days after a chemical weapons attack killed more than 80 civilians in Idleb province, Amnesty International reiterates that US forces must strictly adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law and take all possible measures to protect the civilian population when carrying out military action, including by refraining from using internationally banned weapons, such as cluster munitions. Recent airstrikes by the US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria have killed hundreds of civilians, many of whom were women and children trapped inside their houses.
The United Nations Security Council has been unable to protect civilians in Syria for the past six years. It has emboldened all parties to the conflict in Syria to commit appalling crimes with impunity. It is imperative for member states to adopt a resolution that would ensure an investigation on the ground into the chemical attack that took place in Khan Sheikhoun and that would facilitate bringing perpetrators of such crimes to justice.