A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Russia dropped cluster bombs on Georgia civilians: Human Rights Watch

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced [press release] on Friday that its researchers have proof that Russian forces have dropped cluster bombs on Georgian civilians [AP report] during the recent conflict over the breakaway region of South Ossetia [BBC report]. Cluster bombs release large numbers of smaller explosives which spread out before detonating upon impact, a design meant to maximize bodily injury of a large group of people. On Tuesday, Georgia filed a complaint [text, PDF; press release, PDF] against Russia with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website], alleging that invading Russian troops have also engaged in the murder, rape and mass displacement of civilians [JURIST report]. Russian officials have stated that they have their own evidence showing that Georgian forces have committed war crimes.

At the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions [official website] in May, diplomats agreed on a draft treaty [text, PDF; JURIST report] banning the use, manufacture, and stockpiling of cluster munitions [ICRC materials; JURIST news archive]. No representatives were sent to the conference from the US, China, Russia, Israel, India, or Pakistan, whose governments collectively make up the world's largest producers and users of cluster bombs. A loophole [HRW press release] allows continued military and other cooperation between parties and non-parties to the treaty, which must still be ratified by individual signatory nations before entering into full effect.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.