For Immediate Release
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today condemned Russia’s veto of a draft United Nations Security Council resolution extending the mandate of an investigative group looking into multiple chemical weapons attacks in Syria. The Joint Investigative Mechanism, established by the Council to look into who committed those attacks, is scheduled to release a report this week on the chemical attack that killed dozens of people in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017.
The following statement is attributable to Marianne Møllmann, PHR’s director of research and investigations:
“Russia’s veto is yet another shameless power-move to block investigation into war crimes committed by its lawless ally, the Syrian government. This is the ninth time Russia has vetoed a Security Council resolution aimed at ensuring even a minimum level of accountability for atrocities committed in Syria, essentially holding the Council hostage to its interests and whims. As a member of the Security Council, Russia shares in the Council’s duties to ensure international peace and security, a duty it has repeatedly and flagrantly violated when it comes to the Syrian conflict.
“After the April chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, PHR researchers spoke with doctors and first responders at the site, and PHR medical experts analyzed evidence that pointed to a likely chemical attack against a civilian population. Despite Russia’s disgraceful attempt to quash efforts to assign responsibility for these attacks, the truth will emerge. PHR will continue to work tirelessly with our partners until all the evidence is uncovered and the perpetrators are brought to justice.”
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.