War crimes

War crimes are serious violations of international humanitarian law provisions applicable in international and non-international armed conflict. War crimes are part of the core crimes of international criminal law and are subject to universal jurisdiction. War crimes include e.g. intentional attacks on the civilian population or civilian objects such as hospitals and the use of chemical weapons.


Constitutional complaint regarding air strike at Kunduz in September 2009


In September 2009, two US fighter jets bombed a large group of people and two tanker trucks on a sandbar in the Kunduz River in Afghanistan. More than 100 people were killed or injured. ECCHR supports a criminal investigation in the matters and supports the affected persons' compensation claims.

Democratic Republic Congo

Groundbreaking trial in Germany

Armed Conflict

The Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart handed down convictions in the trial of two Rwandan leaders of the Hutu militia group FDLR, Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni. The FDLR are alleged to have utilized sexualized violence against the Congolese civilian population and to have in numerous cases plundered, killed and inflicted grievous bodily injuries.


France: Court investigates US torture cases


Former Guantánamo detainees Sassi and Benchellalifiled a complaint in France against William Haynes. He was one of the Architects of torture during the George W. Bush administration.


European responsibility for war crimes in Yemen

War Crimes

<p>In October 2016 an airstrike – alleged to have been carried out by the Saudi-led military coalition – struck a civilian home in the village of Deir Al-Hajari in northwest Yemen. The intentional directing of attacks against the civilian population amounts to war crimes. ECCHR is taking legal action against this.</p>


Spain: Court accepts complaint against end of investigations into torture in Guantánamo


In March 2009, a criminal complaint was filed against six former US officials regarding their accountability for violations of international law, including war crimes and torture. The six US officials became known as the Bush Six.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka – War crimes and gender-based sexual violence

Armed Conflict

Ever since the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, issues of the criminal accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity and the ongoing sexualized violence against women have been part of ECCHR's work.

Sri Lanka

Sexualized Violence in Sri Lanka

Armed Conflict

Sri Lanka must comply with its international obligations in the fight against gender-based discrimination. The country should bring its law in line with the UN Convention on Women.


Syria's Air Force Intelligence – Right hand to the al-Assad family


Senior officials of Bashar al-Assad's government are responsible for the international crimes committed at Air Force Intelligence branches. A criminal complaint supported by ECCHR is directed against ten named high-ranking officials from the National Security Bureau and the Air Force Intelligence.


Torture under the Assad Regime


The Syrian government led by president Bashar al-Assad is responsible for systematic and widespread torture. ECCHR together with seven Syrian torture survivors as well as the Syrian lawyers al-Bunni and Darwish submitted the first criminal complaint against six high-level officials of the Syrian Military Intelligence Service to the German Federal Prosecutor.


"Caesar" Photos Document Systematic Torture


The group around the former Syrian military police employee 'Caesar' took for the first legal action by filing together with ECCHR a criminal complaint against senior officials from the Syrian intelligence services and the military police concerning crimes against humanity and war crimes.


Lafarge in Syria – Accusations of complicity in grave human rights violations

Armed Conflict

Eleven former Syrian employees of French company Lafarge submitted a criminal complaint against Lafarge. By having business relations with the terrorist group ISIS in Syria, the company may have taken part in the financing of the group, being therefore complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity.


Rumsfeld torture cases


Between 2004 and 2007, three complaints were filed in Germany and in France against members of the US Government, including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and members of the military forces in connection with war crimes, torture and other criminal acts in the military prisons of Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib.

United Kingdom

War crimes by UK forces in Iraq


ECCHR demands investigations into the role and responsibility of British military officials in Iraq. A communication documents 2000 cases of grave mistreatment during the five years which UK forces operated in Iraq.