Investigate Violations and Protect Civilians
(Tbilisi, August 18, 2008) – Mounting evidence that Russian and Georgian military used armed force unlawfully during the South Ossetian conflict highlights the need for international fact-finding missions in Georgia, Human Rights Watch said today. Ongoing militia attacks and a growing humanitarian crisis also indicate the urgent need for the deployment of a mission to enhance civilian protection.
At the start of the military conflict on August 7, 2008, Georgian military used indiscriminate and disproportionate force resulting in civilian deaths in South Ossetia. The Russian military has since used indiscriminate force in attacks in South Ossetia and in the Gori district, and has apparently targeted convoys of civilians attempting to flee the conflict zones. Ongoing looting, arson attacks, and abductions by militia are terrorizing the civilian population, forcing them to flee their homes and preventing displaced people from returning home...... Read more