1,000 Families of those Kidnapped by ISIS Ask for Assistance from the United States

  We, the families of those kidnapped by ISIS, are writing to the U.S. administration to ask for support in the search for our loved ones. When ISIS entered Northeast Syria, our loved ones were among the first to stand up against the extremist group, leading to them being kidnapped and disappeared. While information regarding […]

“We Are Not Like We Used to Be”: Syrian Responses to Documentation, Truth, and Reconciliation

  The process of post-conflict reconciliation is understood to go hand-in-hand with truth-seeking and remembrance of human rights abuses, in the hope that they will not be repeated. In Syria, however, the process the government calls “reconciliation” is actually one of forgetting: returning refugees are required to fill out a form disavowing any past oppositional […]

Lessons for Syria from Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission

  Since the government of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in 2011, Tunisia has embarked on the long process of reconciliation and transitional justice. This past week, 8 years after protests first swept through the streets of Tunis, Tunisians marked a major milestone in this effort with the release of the Truth and […]

Syrians Arrested, Killed Under Reconciliation Agreements

  As the Syrian government continues to promote its narrative that the conflict is winding down, truces that the government refers to as “reconciliation agreements” have become an increasingly common method to reassert control over opposition-held areas. Such agreements supposedly provide a method for peaceful reintegration of communities into government control. However, an ongoing campaign […]

Russia’s Twitter Campaign: Influencing Perceptions of the Syrian Conflict

  In the era of “fake news,” it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish falsehoods from reality, a problem that modern technology has only exacerbated. The Syrian conflict has fallen victim to this phenomenon, as a wealth of information has been generated online originating from all sides of the conflict that includes both false information […]

Of Fathers and Sons: Incorporating Children into Transitional Justice

Abu Osama surrounded by his sons, in the documentary Of Fathers and Sons. Source: Double Exposure Film Festival   Syrian Director Talal Derki’s most recent film, Of Fathers and Sons, provides an intimate portrait of a Syrian family in Idlib, following their daily life amidst conflict. The father, Abu Osama, a member of the Al […]

Seeking Truth for Syria’s Disappeared

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, tens of thousands of people have been disappeared, captured and detained by state entities and, to a lesser extent, non-state armed groups, that provide no information about a detainee’s status or whereabouts. In recent weeks, however, the government has quietly begun updating the records of civil registries, […]

The Significance of Apologies and Truth-Telling in the Syrian Conflict

  On June 27, former Syrian defense minister Mustafa Tlass, 85, died in Paris. Tlass – who served as defense minister from 1972 to 2004 – was a close aide to former Syrian president Hafez al-Assad and his son, current president Bashar al-Assad. While defense minister, Tlass ordered up to 150 deaths per week by […]

Learning from Experience: Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission

“There can be no sustainable democracy without acknowledging and addressing mistakes of the past.”– Tunisian President Moncef Al-Marzouki, 9 June 2014 Last week, Tunisia launched a Truth and Dignity Commission, tasked with investigating alleged human rights violations. The Commission’s mandate calls for a review of events from 1955 to today. In forming this commission, Tunisia recognizes that no […]

Reparations: Founded upon Data and Dialogue

Today’s post highlights the fourth installment of the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre’s “Memorandum Series.” For more on Documentation and Truth-seeking, download and read the full memorandum, “Using Data, Documentation, and Evidence in Reparations Processes,” prepared for the SJAC by Christalla Yakinthou. Reparations processes need not be considered a post-war activity; in best-case scenarios, much […]

Syrian Perspectives on Transitional Justice and Geneva II

On January 29, SJAC convened a discussion entitled “Syrian Perspectives on Transitional Justice and Geneva II.” This event served in part to launch ‘He Who Did Wrong Should Be Accountable: Syrian Perspectives on Transitional Justice,’ a report conducted by Charney Research in cooperation with SJAC based on in-depth interviews with 46 Syrians from a wide […]

“He who did wrong should be accountable” Syrian Perspectives on Transitional Justice

As Syrian opposition and government leaders meet in Geneva, it is critical to consider the opinions of Syrians on the ground, particularly concerning political settlements and transitional justice mechanisms.   Research commissioned by the SJAC does just this—uncovering promising results. The research,  which is detailed in the report “He who did wrong should be accountable,” gathered […]