We Want to Hear a Condemnation from the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office of the United Nations Special Envoy
SNHR has released the report: “The Syrian Regime Bombs a Kindergarten and Kills Nine Children” in which the Network documented the targeting of a kindergarten in Harasta city in Damascus suburbs on Sunday 6 October 2016.
The report is based on accounts from the city’s residents, eyewitnesses, and survivors where the report includes three accounts. Also, the report includes verified pictures and videos which show the damages in the kindergarten yard and the children victims.
According to the report, the kindergarten area is a civil area. No military centers or weapon warehouses for armed opposition factions or Extremist Islamic groups were found before or during the attack.
The report says that approximately at 9:00, a government forces artillery fired no less than eight mortar shells that fell in the vicinity of “Ajyal Al Mustqabal” kindergarten in Al Zahla neighborhood. One of the shells fell in the kindergarten yard. The shelling was at the time of the recess when children gather in the schoolyard which resulted in the killing of nine children while about 15 others were wounded. Additionally, the kindergarten yard was damaged. The kindergarten has no less than 30 boys and girls who are 4-6-year-old.
The report asserts that the Syrian regime has, beyond any doubt, violated Security Council Resolutions 2139 and 2254 which both state that indiscriminate attacks must be halted. Also, the regime violated Article 8 of Rome Statute through the act of willful killing which constitutes war crimes.
The report says that the bombardment mentioned in this report has targeted armless civilians. Therefore, government forces have violated the rules of the international human rights law which guarantee the right to life. Additionally, these violations were perpetrated in a non-international armed conflict which amount to a war crime where all elements were fulfilled.
The report calls on the Security Council to take additional steps as it has been a year since Resolution 2139 was adopted and no pledges to cease the indiscriminate bombardment operations have been made. All the conflict parties must respect these steps and adhere to the rules of the international humanitarian law.
The report says that the Syrian case must be referred to the International Criminal Court and all those who were involved must be held accountable. Also, the norm of the Responsibility to Protect must be implemented in order to protect the lives, culture, and history of the Syrian people from being destroyed, looted, and ruined. Additionally, sanctions must be expanded to include the Syrian and Iranian regimes and all of their pillars who are directly involved in committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Syrian people.