Paris – Statement by the Syrian Network for Human Rights:
Thursday, March 17, 2022: At the invitation of the Syrian Students Union at Sabahattin Zaim University in Turkey, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), represented by its Director, Mr. Fadel Abdul Ghany, participated in an event marking the eleventh anniversary of the start of the popular uprising for democracy in Syria. Mr. Abdul Ghany delivered a speech on the importance of the human rights issue and of documenting human rights violations, as well as the crucial importance of the principles and foundations of defending human rights, and the contribution of this work to preserving the victims’ rights and strengthening the accountability and transitional justice processes.
Abdul Ghany began his address by saying, “Our struggle with the Syrian regime consists of multiple battles, including those related to political, military, media, economic, and human rights, with the human rights aspect being the subject I can talk about today.” He added, “The Syrian Network for Human Rights was established in June 2011 as a result of the systematic increase in human rights violations in Syria and with the aim of contributing to preserving and defending the rights of victims.” He stressed the importance of demanding that all the rights stipulated in international covenants and charters be granted and of ensuring the commitment of all parties to comply with the rules of international humanitarian law and human rights law. He explained that the process of documenting human rights violations in Syria is one of the most difficult and complex procedures of its kind worldwide in light of the exceptional circumstances and conditions in which the documentation process takes place.
The SNHR founder spoke about the importance of creating an extensive database of human rights violations in Syria and of reflecting these in human rights reports. He presented charts showing the record of the most notable human rights violations in Syria since March 2011 and explained that documenting crimes accurately and professionally contributes to the subsequent preparation of crime files and to filing cases in international courts or before courts in countries that support the principle of universal jurisdiction. He also touched on the sentences that have already been issued, the current cases, and their importance, without raising the ceiling of expectations, and without diminishing their importance.
Participation in this event forms part of the Syrian Network for Human Rights’ efforts to spread and promote a culture of human rights, support efforts to document violations, and issue reports based on these, raise awareness of the importance and centrality of the victims’ active role in this process and underlines the need for Syrian society to cooperate in order to expose those involved in perpetrating crimes, hold the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity accountable, and fight the culture of impunity.