A federal court has held Syria’s government liable for the targeting and killing of an American journalist as she reported on the shelling of a rebellious area of Homs in 2012. The decision could help ease the way for war-crimes prosecutions arising from the Syria conflict.
Issued by the United States District Court in Washington, the decision awarded 2.5 million to relatives of the journalist, Marie Colvin. Of that sum, 0 million is punitive damages for what Judge Amy Berman Jackson, in her ruling, called “Syria’s longstanding policy of violence” that aimed “to intimidate journalists” and “suppress dissent.”
“Our hope is that this case in some ways will provide a blueprint for future cases against the regime” led by President Bashar al-Assad, said Scott Gilmore, a lawyer for the Colvins, after Judge Jackson’s ruling was issued on Tuesday.
Collecting the money will be an arduous effort that, at best, will take years, Mr. Gilmore said. But more significant, he said, the ruling was the first time a court had held the Syrian government responsible for an atrocity from a war convulsing the country for nearly eight years.
The large size of the award sends a message, he said, that “the rule of law is still a force to be reckoned with,” even amid a global trend toward authoritarianism and the killing of journalists like Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Arabian slain in his country’s consulate in Istanbul.
“This stands as a really stunning rebuke to autocratic governments around the world who have declared open season on journalists and opposition figures,” Mr. Gilmore said.
The ruling also provides a glimmer of hope that even with Mr. Assad’s government close to victory in the war, Syrian officials could someday be held accountable for crimes like widespread arbitrary detention and extrajudicial killings.
Syria did not respond in court to the lawsuit, and Mr. Assad has publicly blamed Ms. Colvin for her own death, saying she had been “working with terrorists.”
While the ruling arose from a civil-court lawsuit, it is considered something of a test case for a much larger, international effort to build court-ready war crimes cases for use someday in criminal prosecutions of Syrian officials. It is the first court decision drawing on a pool of smuggled Syrian government documents that are being used in criminal prosecutions of Syrian officials by courts in Germany, France and elsewhere.
The Colvin lawsuit was based partly on scores of Syrian government documents from a much larger cache of more than 800,000 records. The archive has been collected by a nonprofit group called the Commission for International Justice and Accountability, led by William Wiley, a veteran war-crimes prosecutor, and financed by Western governments.
The group is archiving the documents and using them to prepare cases intended to stand up in national or international courts.
While the standard of proof is higher in criminal cases, war crimes lawyers welcomed the success of the Colvin lawsuit as an indication that the archive contains convincing evidence.
The Colvin ruling, Mr. Gilmore said, “shows that the evidence we used — a mosaic of documents, defector testimony and expert witness analysis — can connect the high-level policymaking with how it’s implemented by the security apparatus and link it up to a specific atrocity.”
Generally, foreign governments cannot be sued in American courts for actions outside United States jurisdiction. But in building the Colvin lawsuit, Mr. Gilmore and a human rights group, the Center for Justice and Accountability, relied on an exception for governments, like Syria’s, that the United States designates as state sponsors of terrorism. The judge ruled that the evidence presented by the plaintiffs was “credible and convincing,” meeting the legal standard for a judgment in the absence of any response by the defendant.
The plaintiffs detailed, through government records and defectors’ and other witnesses’ accounts, how the Syrian government had made a policy of cracking down on journalists and their assistants; how security officials tracked Ms. Colvin through informants and intercepted communications; how Syrian forces killed Ms. Colvin, hours after her last broadcast from Homs, by shelling the makeshift media center where she was staying; and how officials celebrated her death.
Mr. Gilmore said the Colvins would search for Syrian state property that could be seized, from real estate to money owed in contracts to assets such as boats.
Ms. Colvin, a Long Island native who was 56 when she was killed, was a star of the British press, known for dedication and pushing the limits of risk to tell the stories of civilians affected by war. She was less of a household name in the United States, but the court’s decision comes amid a wave of new attention to her life and death.
She was played by Rosamund Pike in the recent feature film “A Private War,” and was the subject of a biography by a fellow journalist, Lindsey Hilsum, and a documentary by Paul Conroy, the photojournalist who was her longtime reporting partner. He was seriously wounded in the attack that killed Ms. Colvin and Remi Ochlik, a French photojournalist.B:
七星彩走势图新浪网《【乘】【风】【阁】》【外】【的】【迷】【雾】【森】【林】【不】【仅】【以】“【迷】【雾】”【植】【物】【闻】【名】，【更】【因】【风】【景】【美】【轮】【美】【奂】【而】【出】【名】。 【但】【这】【美】【轮】【美】【奂】【不】【是】【景】【区】【内】【能】【体】【验】【到】【的】，【而】【是】【得】【漂】【浮】【于】【景】【区】【空】【中】。【森】【林】【里】【那】【朦】【胧】【的】【让】【人】【束】【手】【束】【脚】【的】【白】【雾】，【搁】【在】【空】【中】【看】【便】【幻】【化】【成】【了】【一】【个】【个】【图】【案】，【比】【天】【空】【的】【白】【云】【还】【要】【善】【变】。 【如】【玉】【坐】【在】【回】【程】【的】【飞】【机】【里】，【难】【得】【体】【会】【了】【一】【把】【美】【妙】【的】【风】【景】。
【当】【翼】【伞】【在】【庄】【严】【头】【顶】【打】【开】，【感】【受】【到】【那】【股】【子】【猛】【然】【向】【上】【的】【拽】【动】【之】【力】，【心】【脏】【总】【算】【落】【到】【地】【上】。 【刚】【才】【飘】【在】【夜】【色】【之】【中】，【庄】【严】【看】【着】【模】【糊】【一】【片】【的】【大】【地】，【曾】【有】【过】【奇】【怪】【的】【念】【头】，【如】【果】【这】【种】【时】【候】【出】【了】【问】【题】，【人】【摔】【在】【地】【上】，【怕】【是】【找】【尸】【体】【都】【不】【好】【找】【了】【吧】？ 【小】【分】【队】【夜】【间】【跳】【伞】，【领】【队】【十】【分】【重】【要】。 【所】【幸】【的】【是】，4【组】【有】【个】【好】【领】【队】。 【闫】【明】【虽】【然】【年】【龄】
【卫】【家】【一】【行】【人】【中】【随】【着】【马】【车】【越】【走】【越】【远】，【除】【了】【卫】【锦】【明】，【见】【识】【过】【纳】【戒】【的】【神】【奇】，【对】【这】【些】【东】【西】【能】【快】【速】【接】【受】。 【还】【有】【小】【夏】【梦】【单】【纯】【喜】【欢】【亮】【晶】【晶】【的】【墙】【壁】，【基】【本】【上】【是】【震】【惊】【到】【麻】【木】。 【长】【峰】【县】【城】【下】【有】【这】【么】【一】【条】【通】【道】，【如】【此】【的】【宽】【广】，【居】【然】【没】【人】【发】【现】？ 【也】【不】【对】，【地】【窖】【只】【是】【个】【普】【通】【地】【窖】，【没】【任】【何】【机】【关】。 【说】【明】【这】【所】【田】【庄】【在】【被】【高】【飞】【买】【下】【之】【前】，【没】
【第】【四】【百】【八】【十】【章】【瓶】【儿】【身】【世】 【上】【官】【大】【人】【淡】【淡】【道】，“【这】【三】【十】【个】【弟】【兄】【一】【个】【都】【不】【会】【有】【事】。【我】【之】【所】【以】【如】【此】【安】【排】，【只】【是】【为】【了】【防】【止】【有】【人】【上】【山】【去】【青】【云】【观】【而】【已】，【按】【理】【来】【说】【他】【们】【除】【了】【这】【七】【个】，【不】【会】【再】【有】【人】【活】【着】【了】。【你】【还】【不】【错】，【歇】【着】【去】【吧】。” 【此】【时】【那】【七】【人】【中】【一】【个】【青】【衣】【人】【披】【散】【长】【发】，【盯】【着】【那】【上】【官】【大】【人】，“【上】【官】【无】【名】！” 【上】【官】【无】【名】【面】【色】【平】【淡】，