Amnesty's Conclusions about 2008 Georgia-Russia Conflict Supported by New EU Report

Yesterday, the EU published its final report detailing international law violations that occurred during the Georgia-Russia war in August last year and its aftermath.  This report highlighted many of the original findings detailed in Amnesty International’s November 2008 report (pdf). The AI report expressed concern for both parties’ use of indiscriminate force against civilians and the use of inappropriate and inaccurate weaponry in largely civilian areas. It also documented extensive looting, arson and violent attacks directed towards Georgian-majority villages in South Ossetia by South Ossetian forces, paramilitary groups and privately armed individuals. The findings of the AI report relied on research gathered from four fact finding missions and the analysis of satellite imagery provided by AIUSA’s Science for Human Rights project .

Some of the findings of the new EU Report include:

The refugee crisis in the region remains since Russia is still refusing to allow ethnic Georgian refugees to return to their homes in South Ossetia  Furthermore, the EU report concludes that the risk of renewed violence remains.

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About Christoph Koettl

Christoph Koettl is the Emergency Response Manager at Amnesty International USA and works on urgent human rights situations such as armed conflicts. In his work he focuses on exploring the intersection of technology and human rights, specializing in utilizing satellite imagery or citizen video for human rights research and advocacy. He previously worked and studied in Austria, the Netherlands and Italy and holds an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His expertise is in International Humanitarian Law, conflict analysis, crisis mapping, video validation and social media forensics and he is a regular speaker on technology and human rights. He has testified on war crimes in Sri Lanka before the United States Congress and his work is covered regularly by numerous national and international media, including Associated Press, BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and Reuters.
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