For Immediate Release
“Once again, the Security Council has utterly failed in its duty to protect civilians and to ensure international peace and security. For the eighth time, Russia has used its veto to provide political cover to its poisonous Syrian allies. The April 4 chemical weapons strike in Syria was just the latest in a litany of war crimes committed by Syria’s government, and for the eighth time, any substantive action against Syria has been blocked. Yet calling the resolution that failed substantive is generous. The resolution merely called for a full, independent investigation of the deadly Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack – the most basic request – but even that was apparently too much for Russia to swallow. Despite Russia’s shameful veto, investigations can still proceed. The Security Council has already established a Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) with full authority to conduct such an investigation. The JIM must fulfil its mandate by investigating the Khan Sheikhoun attack, and the Security Council must try to regain its authority by taking concrete action to hold all parties to the conflict accountable for their war crimes. Without such action, we will continue to add attacks like the April 4 chemical weapons strike to the long list of violations of international law in Syria.”
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.