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SLA war crimes eerily similar to Srebrenica Scorpions’ terror, says Boyle

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 12:59 No Comment]

Summary executions violate Common Article 3 to the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949, to which Sri Lanka is a contracting Party, prohibiting in subsection I(d) "… the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court…." Violations of the Geneva Conventions are war crimes, said Professor Francis Boyle, after watching the video on the cold-blooded extra-judicial killings carried out by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers, published by a German-based group ‘Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS)’ Tuesday.

ScorpianMassacre_82759_200 "We have a video of the same being done to Bosnians at Srebrenica by Serbia’s ‘Scorpions,’ which I viewed with one of the few male survivors while in the killing fields of Srebrenica itself," Boyle added, continuing:"Of course the Scorpion executions were just a small element of the Serbian genocide at Srebrenica."

A video of Serb paramilitary soldiers Scorpions, caught in the act of murdering six Bosnian Muslim youths in July 17, 1995, near the town of Trnovo, Srebrenica, discovered 10 years later, shocked Serbia and led to the arrest and later conviction of the soldiers. The six Muslim men and boys were forced to lie down with their hands tied before being shot in the back by their captors. Two of the victims were 17, while the others were in their 20s and 30s. A Belgrade war-crimes court sentenced four Scorpions to a total of 58-years in prison.

The New York Times reporting on the story on the 6-person massacre by the Scorpians, said: "The faces of the perpetrators can be seen and their insults to the Muslims can be heard. The film was shot by a Scorpions member."

Video in 3GP format

In remarkable eerie similarity with the SLA crimes, the SLA terror video was also obtained by an SLA soldier using a mobile-phone camera, and the SLA soldiers are also heard spewing insults to the naked Tamil prisoners.

JDS: Video evidence of extra-judicial executions in Sri Lanka

"Scorpions, however, did not strip and then murder the Bosnians in the nude. But the GOSL Army did exactly that, which is even more akin to what the Nazis did to the Jews, depriving their victims of the last shred of their humanity before dying," Boyle observed.

On the disappearances inside internment camps, the press release issued by the JDS said: "The Sri Lankan government justifies the internment of approximately 280,000 Tamil people, for over three months now, on the basis that they are ‘screening’ for LTTE cadres. These camps still remain out of bounds for independent media and human rights observers. Apart from these known camps, it is widely believed that there are over 10,000 Tamils are held in undisclosed locations. Further, as a recent BBC report reveals the interned Tamils have to regularly experience the trauma of the appearance of the ‘dolphin vans’ in the camps – as these whisk away people – who then disappear."

Commenting on the disappearances, Boyle said, “when the enforced disappearances are "widespread" or "systematic" they become Crimes against Humanity under the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court," adding:"Crimes against Humanity are the precursor to genocide, just as Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jews–I also visited Dachau."

The Scorpions (Škorpioni) were a Serbian paramilitary group which actively sought out the extermination of other ethnicities in the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. The unit was formed in 1991 in what was then the breakaway Croatian Serb Republic of Serbian Krajina. The Scorpion leader was Slobodan Medić.

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