SJAC’s trial monitoring program started in April 2020 with the trial of Anwar R. and Eyad Al-Gharib in Koblenz, Germany and is also following the subsequent trial of an alleged former government affiliate and doctor at military hospitals, Alaa M., that started in Frankfurt, Germany in January 2022. SJAC’s trial monitors are not only following trials in Europe and cases of former Syrian government affiliates, but also cases of ISIS members in the United States, such as the cases against El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey (the so-called “ISIS Beatles”) at the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, USA. Other cases SJAC is tracking include the ISIS propogandist Mohammad Khalifa and the case of Allison Fluke-Ekren.
SJAC has compiled several resources ranging from accompanying analyses, reports, and lists of witnesses for each trial. To access the resources, click on the links below.
Since the beginning of its trial monitoring project in 2020, SJAC has monitored domestic trials relating to the Syrian conflict in Germany and the United States via local, trained court monitors. As part of the trial monitoring project, SJAC publishes regular trial reports, explanatory blog posts, detailed analytical reports on the proceedings available in both English and Arabic, and a bi-weekly Arabic language podcast. However, many domestic trials of perpetrators in the Syrian context lack official court transcripts and/or translations, rendering these proceedings opaque, limiting the scope of testimony available, and hindering future opportunities for reflection on human rights violations and justice processes. Consequently, SJAC’s comprehensive trial monitoring establishes a historical record of the trial and ensures the availability of documentation for victims and families.
As domestic trials for now remain the only available avenue for Syrians to seek justice and accountability, SJAC will continue to follow these proceedings worldwide to enhance transparency and preserve records of judicial proceedings for future transitional justice processes.