[JURIST] An independent UN human rights expert said [press release] Tuesday that last week’s attacks in Paris may constitute crimes against humanity. The UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Karima Bennoune, said, “[t]hese attacks may constitute a crime against humanity and certainly one which viciously and deliberately targeted sites of arts and leisure where people come together to enjoy their cultural rights.” Bennoune called on the international community to aide French authorities in ensuring that perpetrators re brought to justice in accordance with international law. On Friday UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned [press release] the “despicable terrorist attacks,” and gave his full faith to the French authorities’ ability to prosecute those responsible.
Paris’ chief prosecutor François Molins spoke Saturday, reporting that several arrests [JURIST report] had already been made. Organized into three teams, terrorists reportedly connected to the Islamic State (IS) [JURIST backgrounder] perpetrated attacks on six different targets in and around Paris. The attacks began with a suicide bombing at the Stade de France around 9:20 PM local time. Soon thereafter, individuals riding in a Seat brand car opened fire on individuals outside cafes around Paris. At around 9:40 PM, assailants fired on concert-goers at the Bataclan concert hall, killing 89. Molins related that these individuals were using “war-type weapons” and explosives, further indicating association with IS. Speaking about the attacks generally, French President François Hollande called them [BBC report] “an act of war,” and vowed that the French “will lead the fight, and we will be ruthless.”