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Muttur: A Step Towards Justice



The Human Rights Council has submitted its conclusions concerning crimes committed in Sri Lanka and in particular regarding the massacre of 17 Action Contre la Faim aid workers murdered in 2006 in Muttur, as part of an investigation report on wartime crimes during Sri Lanka's civil war. The report reaches the same conclusions Action contre la Faim did in previous reports  and recommends the establishment of a special Court.

ACF welcomes the completion of an international investigation carried out nine years after the crime despite the lack of cooperation of Sri-Lankan authorities. This significant progress provides justice to aid workers who paid the ultimate price in their dedication to populations in need.

Aid workers were specifically targeted
The report notices that the government of Sri Lanka methodically denied humanitarian access while aware of the humanitarian needs of civilian population. Moreover, aid workers were specifically targeted. Such conduct is clearly a violation of international humanitarian law and amounts to a war crime.

About Muttur’s massacre, the Human Right Council reaches the same conclusions than Action contre la Faim: murders were committed by members of the security forces of Sri Lanka. In addition, Families of victims as well as investigators were threatened to protect perpetrators and perpetuate the pattern of impunity.

The release of this report, long overdue, and its recommendations, constitute a milestone in the fight against impunity and pave the way to justice being rendered for all victims, including those of the Muttur massacre. It shows that an individual’s position can no longer protect them from prosecution and that those suspected of bearing responsibility for atrocities can finally be called to account. This represents an important progress for all the populations and for justice. 

A special court to prosecute Sri Lanka war crimes
On Monday, Sri-Lanka announced the creation of an "office for war reparations" and a "commission for truth" concerning the 37 year conflict with the Tamil separatists. 

Today, the Human Rights Council recommends the creation of Special Court. It is a strong decision, showing the magnitude of the exactions committed. Of hybrid nature, this court will be composed of international and national members. "This is a landmark decision in the fight against impunity for crimes against humanitarian workers. This report reminds us how exposed to dangers aid workers can remain in conflicts. We welcome an exceptional progress for justice and hope that this progress will bring relief to the victims, "said Mike Penrose , CEO of Action contre la Faim .

ACF calls on the international community to remain engaged and to commit to enhance the protection of humanitarian workers, as they are our direct link to vulnerable populations. On the occasion of the UN General Assembly which opened Tuesday, September 15, Action against Hunger calls on international leaders to propose the creation of a Special mandate holder for the protection of humanitarian workers.

During the United Nation's General Assembly opening on Tuesday 15th September, Action Contre la Faim calls on all international leaders to take a stand on the creation of a United Nation Special Mandate position for the protection of aid workers.

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