Maat: Our message to the parties to the conflict is clear: support international humanitarian law, protect civilians, and protect infrastructure
Okeil: The international community must assume its responsibility to maintain international peace and security
Nourhan Mustafa: The parties to the conflict are required to take all possible precautions to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects
Hostilities between the Russian Armed Forces and the Ukrainian Armed Forces constitute an international armed conflict governed by international humanitarian law (the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their First Additional Protocol of 1977 (Protocol I), the Hague Conventions of 1907 governing means and methods of warfare), as well as the rules of Customary international humanitarian Law (IHL).
International humanitarian law, or the laws of war, protects civilians and other non-combatants from the dangers of armed conflict and addresses the hostilities – the means and methods of warfare – committed by all parties to the conflict, topped by the rule that distinguishes between combatants and civilians at all times.
In this context, Ayman Okeil, the international human rights expert and president of Maat, called on the international community to respond urgently to protect civilians, as the physical and psychological safety of civilians is in real danger in light of the escalation of military actions between the two parties.
For her part, Nourhan Mustafa, director of the International Humanitarian Law Unit at Maat, confirmed that the parties to the conflict are required to take all possible precautions to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects, and demanded not to launch attacks that do not discriminate between combatants and civilians.