I ACCUSE : War crimes and crimes against humanity in Aleppo

The 3 Million civilian inhabitants of Aleppo are, independent of their confession or political opinion…, taken hostage since 2 years, and they are victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity :
  • Total blockade of people and goods, several times, the longest taking over 6 weeks, always resulting in severe shortages of essential supplies like vegetables, fruits, fuel, heating oil, medications, meet, etc,
  • Cutting of electric power supply over several days and up to 11 [consecutive] days,
  • Shutting down of the drinking water system over 2 and up to 11 [consecutive] days,
  • Repeatedly disconnecting local and international telephone and internet connections over 2 and up to 20 consecutive days,
  • Daily bombardment of civilian areas using bombs or mortars, resulting in numerous dead and wounded,
  • Snipers shooting at innocent civilians,
  • Systematic destruction of the archeological and cultural heritage.
The International Human Rights, based on the 4 Geneva conventions of 1949, the 2 additional protocols of 1977, and on the Rome Statute of 2002 for establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC) define war crimes and crimes against humanity. Article 8, 2(a)(iii) and (b)(ix) of the ICC qualifies as war crime “willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health” and “intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals”; and Article 7, 1(k) qualifies as crime against humanity “inhumane acts … intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health”.

As the inhabitants of Aleppo are not allowed to leave the city, as they are imprisoned there, as they are hungry, as they are thirsty, as they become sick caused by the lack of sanitation and medications, as they are prevented from communicating with the world, as they are targeted by mortar shells and snipers, all these acts, do they not represent great suffering and serious injury to body and health? Are these not war crimes and crimes against humanity as defined in the conventions cited above ?

I ACCUSE the media, the Western and Arab governments, international organizations like the UNO, UNICEF, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights of complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

I DEMAND from all men and women of the world who care for freedom and justice, faced with such acts :
  • to raise attention to them,
  • to denounce them,
  • to condemn them,
  • to demand from their governments to put pressure on those who command and those who carry out
  • to prosecute the ones responsible before the ICC.
The taking hostage of the civil population of Aleppo must end.

Write to the media, to the members of parliament, senators, ministers, presidents, and international organizations. Tell them that the inhabitants of Aleppo are the target of terrorist acts that qualify as crimes. Tell them about the suffering of the people, explain them about the destruction of the country and of our beloved city, remind them that the “Arab Spring” in Syria is nothing but a freezing winter and a futile chaos.

As of now, the water blockade is over. It followed other blockades in the past and there will possibly be more to come in future if you don’t move.


Nabil Antaki
Aleppo, May 17, 2014

(Translated by Alexander Fluegel)