Syrian Accountability:
The Question of Social Media and
Atrocity Prevention


Join us for a discussion with special guest

Professor, Syracuse University College of Law



Thursday, February 27, 2014

6 p.m. | Networking and Wine Reception
6:45 p.m. | Presentation

Institute of International Education
809 United Nations Plaza, Kaufman Center
New York, NY



UNA Members: $10
UNA Student Members: FREE
Guests and Non-Members: $15

The role of the media in exposing atrocity crime has evolved over a century and plays an influential role in how the international community is made aware of those crimes, in shaping policy, and in changing the tactics of those bent on killing their own citizens. But just how significant is it?

Recently, David Crane was asked to join a group of war crimes prosecutors and forensics experts to examine a large collection of photographs, which appeared to show widespread torture and killings at detention facilities run by the Syrian government. He was also able to interview the man who took them.

With clear and convincing evidence of an "industrialized killing machine," raising the atrocities to the level of crimes against humanity, Crane was hired to work on the report by a London law firm, which was made public just as the peace talks began in Geneva, and which could be used to convict Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for war crimes.

Please join us for an evening talk with Professor Crane, who will examine the role and significance of the media in the expose of atrocity crimes. With his background in international criminal law, he will also discuss the Syrian Accountability Project, which he chairs at Syracuse University.

David M. Crane was appointed a professor of practice at Syracuse University College of Law in the summer of 2006. Prior to that time he was a distinguished visiting professor for the 2005 academic year.

From 2002-2005 he was the founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, an international war crimes tribunal, appointed to that position by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, on 19 April 2002. Among those he indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity was the President of Liberia, Charles Taylor, the first sitting African head of state in history to be indicted and convicted for such international crimes.

Professor Crane served over 30 years in the federal government of the United States. Appointed to the Senior Executive Service of the United States in 1997, Mr. Crane held numerous key managerial positions during his three decades of public service prior to his tribunal appointment.

He holds a Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University, a Masters of Arts Degree in African Studies and a Bachelor of General Studies in History, summa cum laude, from Ohio University. For his service to humanity, Case Western Reserve University in Ohio awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in May 2008.

Professor Crane has been given numerous awards for his work in international humanitarian law. Prior to his departure from West Africa in 2005, Professor Crane was made an honorary Paramount Chief by the Civil Society Organizations of Sierra Leone. In 2008 Professor Crane was given the George Arendts Pioneer Medal from Syracuse University. The Special Court for Sierra Leone was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

He speaks widely around the world and publishes extensively on international humanitarian law. In January of 2014 he was on the Board of Inquiry that exposed industrialized killing of detainees within the Syrian regime over the past two years.

In 2006 he founded Impunity Watch, an online public service blog and law review and in 2011 created the "I am Syria" campaign. He chairs an international effort to build a case against all sides committing international crimes in the Syrian civil war called the Syrian Accountability Project.

Professor Crane currently is Chair of the Board of the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, New York.

Questions? Please call (212) 907-1353 or e-mail:

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