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War crimes evidence found against Syria -SL origin UN prosecutor

2014 Jan 23

Syrian government officials could face war crimes charges in the light of a huge cache of evidence smuggled out of the country showing the ‘systematic killing’ of about 11,000 detainees, according to three eminent international lawyers, led by Sri Lankan origin Sir Desmond de Silva.
 
The authors, Sir Desmond de Silva QC, former chief prosecutor of the special court for Sierra Leone, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, the former lead prosecutor of former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic, and Professor David Crane, who indicted President Charles Taylor of Liberia at the Sierra Leone court, examined thousands of Syrian government photographs and files recording deaths in the custody of regime security forces from March 2011 to last August.
 
Most of the victims were young men and many corpses were emaciated, bloodstained and bore signs of torture. Some had no eyes; others showed signs of strangulation or electrocution.
 
The UN and independent human rights groups have documented abuses by both Bashar al-Assad's government and rebels, but experts say this evidence is more detailed and on a far larger scale than anything else that has yet emerged from the 34-month crisis.
 
De Silva told the Guardian in London that the evidence "documented industrial-scale killing".
 
He added: "This is a smoking gun of a kind we didn't have before. It makes a very strong case indeed."
 
Desmond de Silva is of Sri Lankan and Anglo-Scottish origins, and he is the son of Fredrick de Silva, MBE, formerly Ceylon's ambassador to France and Switzerland, and the grandson of prominent Sri Lankan politician George E. de Silva, according to Wikipedia.

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