Myanmar at the ICJ – Is Syria Next?

The international community has been heavily criticized for failing to sufficiently respond to the plight of the Rohingya, Muslims who have been the subject of a campaign of mistreatment in Myanmar. However, last month, two important developments occurred. First, The Gambia filed a lawsuit against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and Aung […]

New report sheds light on Sednaya detention

Sednaya prison is a notorious military prison outside of Damascus, which former detainees have referred to as “the place where you moved in to die.” Last month, the Association of Detainees and the Missing in Sednaya Prison (ADMSP) released a new report, “Detention in Sednaya: Report on the Procedures and Consequences of Political Imprisonment,” providing […]

Former UN Envoy Rewrites History

Speaking at an event in London earlier this month, Staffan de Mistura, the former UN Special Envoy to Syria, told the audience his ‘real reason’ for resigning: “I felt the war territorially was leading to an end and having really fought against what happened in Aleppo, in Idlib, in Daraya, I could not be the […]

SJAC’s Database: How SJAC is Using Technology to Transform the Field of Human Rights Documentation

  The Syrian conflict has been documented by civilians and eyewitnesses at an unprecedented scale. Perpetrators, victims, and eye-witnesses have captured millions of videos and images, many of which have been disseminated in real-time across the internet. The ability to capture and publicize such massive amounts of documentation has profound implications for the human rights […]

Will arms export bans have an impact on the Turkish offensive in northeast Syria?

Since Turkey’s incursion into northeast Syria, there has been mounting evidence of war crimes perpetrated against civilians in the region. Turkish-backed factions have been accused of executing prisoners and civilians, including the brutal murder of Kurdish women’s rights activist and politician Hevrin Khalaf. Civilians have accused Turkish troops in Tal Tamir of using white phosphorous, […]

Journalists in Syria deserve protection and justice

On November 2nd, the UN will observe the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. Media practitioners and war correspondents are protected by the Geneva Conventions and are entitled to the status and treatment of a prisoner of war in case of capture. However, throughout the conflict in Syria, both local and foreign […]

Prior Turkish Operations Forebode New Offenses in Northeast Syria

Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring has sparked a renewed humanitarian crisis in northeast Syria and has the potential to reshape the region. There have already been reports of serious violations; an estimated 160,000 people have been displaced, and Turkish-backed forces have targeted convoys of civilians and journalists, and reportedly used white phosphorus against Kurds. Concerns for […]

How to minimize harm after the U.S. withdrawal

SJAC reviews the troubling violations that have been committed this past week, and what developments mean for the pursuit of justice in Syria. After eight years of bloodshed and around half a million deaths, there will be no winners in the Syrian conflict. Even so, the developments in the past week have been a stinging […]

U.S. Discourages Export of Surveillance Technology to Human Rights Abusers

The U.S. government has urged exporters not to share surveillance technology with human rights abusers. Draft Guidance was issued by the Department of State regarding the export of surveillance technologies that may be used in violation of citizens’ right to privacy, including the freedom of expression. Although the Draft Guidance will not be legally binding, […]

Syria’s Newest Decree: Amnesty or a Political Stunt?

On September 15th, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued  Decree 20/2019, providing amnesty for certain crimes committed before September 14th of this year. The amnesty reduces sentences for certain crimes and pardons those who have not fulfilled their military service if they return and enlist for duty within outlined timeframes. However, a close read of the […]