Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific

Syrian Victims’ Groups Demand Action to Realise Their Common Vision for Truth and Justice Speakers: Representatives of Victims’ Associations

11/03/2021 - 09:45

To date, tens of thousands Syrians have been detained by the Syrian regime and other parties to the conflict.

A recent report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (CoI) documents a decade of arbitrary detention and related violations, including enforced disappearance and incommunicado detention, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, sexual violence and death in detention, mainly but not exclusively at the hands of the Assad regime. The report highlights the systematic nature of the violations and points out that arbitrary detention of dissidents and activists predates the Syrian uprising of 2011 and was among the main grievances that inspired it.

On the occasion of the Brussel V Conference on Syria, scheduled 29-30 March 2021, five Syrian victim groups host a side event to present their vision and demands for truth and justice in Syria and make practical recommendations for policy action to realise this vision. In February 2021, these same victim’ and families organisations set out their demands through a Charter on Truth and Justice in which they call for short and long term measures to achieve justice and accountability in their country. This side event provides an opportunity for EU and UN policy makers to consult directly with victim groups on the issue of forced disappearance and arbitrary arrest in Syria in order to take tangible steps to realise commitments to action on this issue made during earlier Brussels conferences.  The previous Brussels conference on Syria ‘called on all parties to take urgent measures to prevent any new disappearances [..] It called for the establishment of mechanisms to clarify the fate and whereabouts of all missing persons, without distinction.’ The five Syrian victims groups are currently exploring the development of such mechanisms and their demands and visions , as outlined in the Charter on Truth and Justice, are fundamental to achieve justice and accountability in Syria.

Organiser: Association of Detainees and Missing Persons in Sednaya Prison; Caesar Families Association; Coalition of Families of Persons Kidnapped by ISIS (Massar); Families for Freedom, Ta’afi, Impunity Watch and Pax

Date: 24/03/2021  16:00 CET

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