Muttur aid worker massacre: A chance for justice at last
The international community must put an end to impunity.
Mar 20 2014
Every day, humanitarian workers risk their lives delivering urgently needed humanitarian assistance in situations of armed conflicts. Every year, they reach hundreds of thousands of people in need. But unfortunately aid workers are often subject to violent attacks and crimes. This is why we’ve launched a new campaign called ‘Protect Aid Workers’. The campaign is part of our efforts to bring to justice those responsible for the massacre of our colleagues in Sri Lanka in 2006, and to promote the humanitarian principles that make our work possible. Killing aid workers should never go unpunished. You kill both the person, and what they stand for.
The timing of our campaign coincides with the meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva this week. We’re urging members of the Human Rights Council to vote in favour of a resolution comprising the opening of an independent international inquiry into serious violations of International Humanitarian Law, including the massacre of our colleagues.
On 4th August 2006, 17 of our colleagues were brutally executed on our premises in Muttur, Sri Lanka. In one of the most serious crimes ever committed against humanitarian workers, our colleagues, who were wearing their ACF t-shirts, were lined up, forced to their knees and shot in the head. To date, none of the perpetrators have been brought to justice.
Respect for those who deliver humanitarian assistance is the most important condition to be observed by warring parties. Impunity for the Muttur massacre is therefore not only an example of flagrant injustice; it is also a brutal sign to the international community that humanitarian aid workers who work in situations of armed conflict are no longer protected nor respected. Perpetrators of crimes against aid workers must be brought to justice and humanitarian principles such as neutrality, independence and impartiality must be respected.
Join us and help #ProtectAidWorkers.