An image shows the destruction of the schools in Binnish town, Idleb countryside following being aerially bombarded on July 11, 2018. Image Credit: STJ
Joint Statement: Towards Accountability, Justice, and Ending Impunity in Syria
We, the undersigning organisations, welcome the French prosecutor's decision to issue arrest warrants against three senior Syrian security officers: first and foremost Major General Ali Mamlouk, the Director of the Syrian National Security Bureau, Major General Jamil Al Hassan, the Head of Air Intelligence Branch and Abdel Salam Mahmoud, the Head of the Air Force Intelligence Interrogative Branch. We call upon the international community to support the initiatives of countries such as France and Germany which enable victims and/or those legally representing them to seek accountability for perpetrators and to reach justice. We also call for support for efforts to launch a genuine accountability process under international supervision and that guarantees and works towards establishing sustainable peace in Syria.
The negotiations and political process in Geneva will not be able to establish a sustainable peace for any future state in Syria without a genuine accountability process and revealing the fate of Syria's disappeared is at its core. Therefore, we believe that it is our duty and the duty of countries that believe in human rights to prioritise enabling victims to reach justice and ensure there is no impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed in Syria up to this day.
Today, we reap the benefits of cooperation between families of victims with Syrian and international human rights organizations, as well as national judicial authorities, which has resulted in arrest warrants against a number of senior figures within the Syrian security apparatus. We reaffirm our belief in the possibility of justice and renew our readiness to work and cooperate on documenting violations and building judicial files with international and local organizations, as well as international and domestic judicial authorities in countries of asylum among others. We do this in order to secure the rights of victims and place criminal accountability as an indispensable condition for building the future of Syria.
We renew today - and more than ever - our emphasis on the need to:
- Allow international litigation to be made available in third countries to victims of crimes committed in Syria through a non-politicized process of prosecution.
- Provide financial and technical support to the relevant apparatuses to investigate international crimes and to facilitate access and representation of Syrians residing in other countries so they can be witnesses or victims before the judicial authorities in countries of litigation.
- Support crime documentation and litigation efforts with victim groups and their families in the fight against impunity.
- Support victim and community initiatives that seek justice for victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria and their families.
- Support and ensure the work of the independent and impartial mechanisms and commissions of the UN and international organizations and enable them to exercise their functions effectively in order to follow up and prosecute those involved in major crimes committed in Syria since 2011 under international law.
- Support all efforts at the international level to launch a transparent and impartial accountability and justice process under international supervision and guarantees that works to establish a sustainable peace in Syria.
15 November 2018
- AlKawakibi Organisation for Human Rights
- Aso Organisation for Combating Violence Against Women
- Association of Detainees and the Missing in Sednaya Prison
- Basamat for Development
- Baytna Syria
- Caesar Fmilies Association
- Center for Civil Society and democracy
- Democratic Republic Studies Center
- Fraternity Foundation for Human Rights-Birati
- Freie Deutsch Syrische Gesellschaft e.V in Hamburg
- Gulf Center for Human Rights
- Human Help Community
- Human Rights Organization in Syria
- Hurras Network
- Kawakbi Center for Transitional Justice and Human Rights
- Kesh Malek
- Kurdish Committee for Human Rights/Observer
- Local Development and Small Projects Support
- Mena Rights Group
- Mouwatana for Civil Action
- Peace and Civil Society Center
- PÊL- Civil Waves
- Pro Justice
- Rethink Rebuild Society
- Save the Rest Campaign
- Shaml Coalition
- Syrian Activists for Monitoring
- Syrian Archive
- Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression
- Syrian Center for Statistics and Research
- Syrian Civil Defense - White Helmets
- Syrian Feminist Lobby
- Syrian Forum
- Syrian League for Citizenship
- Syrian Legal Development Programme
- Syrian Legal Network -NL
- Syrian Network for Human Rights
- Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
- Syrians for Truth and Justice
- Syrian Women’s Network
- The Day After
- Violations Documentation Center
- Women Now