President of Human Rights Council appoints Members of Commission of Inquiry on 2018 protests in Occupied Palestinian Territory


25 July 2018

GENEVA (25 July 2018) - The President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Vojislav Šuc (Slovenia), announced today the appointment of David Michael Crane (United States), Sara Hossain (Bangladesh) and Kaari Betty Murungi (Kenya), to serve as the three members of the Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  Mr. Crane will serve as Chair of the three-person Commission.

The Council decided to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry at its special session of 18 May 2018 “to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018”. 

Through Human Rights Council resolution S-28/1, the 47-member body mandated the Commission “to establish the facts and circumstances, with assistance from relevant experts and special procedure mandate holders, of the alleged violations and abuses, including those that may amount to war crimes” and “to identify those responsible”.

The Commissioners, who will serve in their personal capacities, were also requested by the Council “to make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring legal accountability, including individual criminal and command responsibility, for such violations and abuses, and on protecting civilians against any further assaults”.

The Commission is scheduled to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its 39th session in September 2018, and a final, written report at its 40th session to be held in March 2019.

Biographies of the members of the Commission of Inquiry 

David Michael Crane (United States) is an international law expert who has served over 30 years in the federal government of the United States having held numerous key positions, including Senior Inspector General in the Department of Defence.  In 2006, he was appointed Professor of Practice at Syracuse University College of Law where he teaches international criminal law, international law, national security law, and the law of armed conflict.  Professor Crane served as Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone from April 2002 until 15 July 2005, during which period he indicted, among others, the then-President of Liberia, Charles Taylor.  

Sara Hossain (Bangladesh) is a lawyer who works as a barrister at the bar of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and an honorary executive director of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST).  In 2016, she was appointed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as one of the two experts on accountability to support the work of the Special Rapporteur on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  She was one of the recipients of the 2016 International Women of Courage Award awarded by the US Secretary of State.  She is also a Member of the Board of trustee on the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture since 2017.

Kaari Betty Murungi (Kenya) is a lawyer who has practiced law at national, regional and international levels, and has experience in the management of non-governmental and non-profit organisations.  She served on the board of the Kenya Human Rights Commission and the Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice, among others.  She has background in international human rights in the context of violent conflict with experience in international criminal justice and accountability mechanisms. She has worked in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Northern Uganda and South Sudan and served for a short period as Vice Chairperson and Commissioner to the Kenya Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, and as the Africa representative on the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims at the International Criminal Court (2010- 2013).

About the Commission of Inquiry

For more information and media inquiries, please contact Rolando Gómez, Human Rights Council Media Officer: (+41 (0) 22.917.97.11 or