Experts Call on Canada to Sanction Military Exploitation of “Human Shield”

Experts said a law aimed at sanctioning the use of “human shields” in reports that the terrorist group Hamas used civilians as a cover for military assets in a recent shootout with Israel. I’m asking a Canadian lawmaker to pass.

In the report (Pdf) Experts announced by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI) and the Canadian Coalition Against Terror (C-CAT) show that the use of humans as shields by terrorist groups has the effect of military forces in democracies and law-abiding countries. He pointed out that it could effectively reduce it.

The report also included a bill suggesting that Canadian lawmakers would take action against the use of human shields. The draft includes sanctions and “naming and shame,” as outlined in the forward section of a report co-authored by Sarah Teich, Senior Researcher at MLI, and David Matas, Senior Researcher at the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, an international human rights lawyer. is included.

Besides Hamas, the report nominates many terrorist organizations that have used this tactic, including ISIS, Taliban, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, and the Houthi movement in Yemen.

“Combatants who use humans as shields prioritize defeating perceived enemies over protecting their civilians. Combatants hate perceived enemies. It states that it means more to them than the lives of their own people. Fighting the use of human shields means fighting this hatred, “they write in the report. (Pdf) Titled “Protection of Innocent People in Combat”.

“The use of civilians as human shields continues to grow, a real challenge for democracies that respect their right to fight terrorism while protecting and protecting human lives,” the report said. I am.

Danny Eisen, founder of C-CAT and co-author of the report, OK On the list of infringers, a state like Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 in January 2020 and killed 177 people, including 55 Canadian citizens and 81 permanent residents. Institutions are also included.

“This use of commercial aviation as a form of human shield by Iran is by the administration of terrorist proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah, one of the world’s most vicious perpetrators of human shield-related violations. It’s a perfect match for billions of dollars in aid, “Eisen said.

Epoch Times Photo
On May 15, 2020, a fireball erupted from the Jara Tower, which was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in the city of Gaza, which was dominated by Hamas terrorists in Palestine. (MahmudHams / AFP via Getty Images)

Actions on human shields

According to the report, terrorist groups could try to maximize the death toll of civilians used to protect military purposes by keeping blame away from them in court. It is a strategic “infringer” because it “manipulates democratic legal systems to undermine, defamate, and outlaw democratic counter-terrorism operations and military efforts.” It is a merit for both sides. “

The use of human shields is universally banned under international law and has been explicitly condemned by international organizations such as the United Nations Security Council and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

However, as mentioned above, if the loss of life of civilians is not excessive compared to the expected military advantage, the killing of a human shield is a law of war (international law that regulates the actions of war parties). It may not be considered a violation of some).To Protocol I of the 1949 Geneva Convention.. The report states that this means the legality of using human shields and may make that practice even more common.

The report also found a lack of follow-up of national law on the use of human shields, despite the international ban on practices adopted by the 1949 Geneva Convention.

The first domestic law aimed at sanctioning crime was signed by former US President Donald Trump in December 2018.Sanctions for the use of civilians as an unprotected shield(“U.S. Human Shield Law”) specifically targets terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah, and tolerant sanctions against all other foreign individuals and groups adopting this military tactic. is.

“In this publication, we have established a bill by Canada as a human rights leader, keeping in mind international consensus, responding to NATO’s request for action, and blocking and sanctioning the use of human shields. The need and ability to do it, “says Teich.