The Case for Bashar Assad to Be Tried as a War Criminal

In: Social Issues

Submitted By mightymouse0318
Words 2422
Pages 10
Sara Wadlow
PS 434
Research Paper
May 3, 2015

Introduction The Syrian Civil War has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Since 2011, protests and attacks have been a daily occurrence, and the regime of Bashar Al-Assad has done what it believed was necessary to stop rebel forces and end protests. As such, Assad has committed many questionable, at best, and criminal, at worst, actions against the civilians of Syria in an effort to stop the rebels. The indiscriminate warfare Assad has used against Syrian citizens is shown in multiple international doctrines as illegal, and is thus a war crime, which should be prosecuted.
The Statue of the International Criminal Court defines war crimes as “serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict” and “serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in an armed conflict not of an international character (ICRC 2016). Section IV of Rule 156 of the International Committee of the Red Cross, titled Other Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed During a Non-International Armed Conflict, lists use of prohibited weapons subject to criminal sanctions, and specifically references the Chemical Weapons Convention, Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, and the Ottawa Convention as laying the groundwork for this guideline. This paper will address historical context of the Syrian Civil War, United Nations documents concerning indiscriminate weapons, the use of these indiscriminate weapons in Syria, and precedent for military tribunals.
Arab Spring and Beginnings of Civil War
Protests in Syria started on January 26, 2011, when a police officer assaulted a man in public at Al-Hareeka Street in old Damascus. The man was arrested right after the assault. As a result, protesters called for the freedom of the…...

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