A Historic Apology: The YPG Acknowledges Wrongdoing in Amouda

On June 27 and 28, 2013, The People’s Protection Units (YPG) forces killed six civilians associated with protests against the arbitrary detention of Yekiti Party members in the Northeast town of Amouda. The killings in Amouda have long been public knowledge; Human Rights Watch and the US State Department have both written about the crimes. […]

Inside the Raslan Trial: Victims Testify

  TRIAL OF ANWAR RASLAN and EYAD AL GHARIB Higher Regional Court – Koblenz, Germany Trial Monitoring Report 4 Hearing dates of June 3, 4, & 5, 2020 Full PDF of the report can be found here, available in English and Arabic.   Note: Some testimony includes descriptions of torture. [Information located in brackets are […]

“They made me do it” – Necessity and Duress Defenses

A big moment in the trial of Anwar Raslan and Eyad Al Gharib came on May 18 when Anwar Raslan’s defense counsel presented Raslan’s statement to the court. Syrian victims in the court were curious to understand how those accused of such serious crimes would respond to the charges. One said, “I thought I would […]

Inside the Raslan Trial: Details on Branch 251

TRIAL OF ANWAR RASLAN and EYAD AL GHARIB Higher Regional Court – Koblenz, Germany Trial Monitoring Report 3 Hearing dates of May 27, 28 & 29, 2020   Summary / Highlights Trial Day 7 Three witnesses—a police inspector, translator and police high commissioner—testified about their questioning of Eyad Al-Gharib. The police inspector testified that Accused […]

Residents of Rukban Camp Face Siege, Limited Aid, and Dangers in Reconciled Areas

Close to 10,000 civilians are living under wretched humanitarian conditions in the Rukban camp, located in a desert region in Badiyat Homs near the Jordanian-Syrian border, with infrastructure unfit for human life. Many of these civilians live with children who were born inside the camp; children who experience total isolation from life outside the camp […]

REPORT RELEASE: Sanctions, the Caesar Act, and COVID-19 in Syria

PRESS RELEASE: SYRIA SANCTIONS MUST BE IMPROVED TO FACILITATE MEDICAL RELIEF DURING COVID-19   Washington, D.C. June 16th, 2020 “Syria’s existing sanctions regimes should be adjusted and recalibrated to sufficiently meet evolving needs in Syria arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and from the Caesar Act,” said the Syria Justice and Accountability Center today in a […]

The Women Left Behind

When Fatima’s (name changed) husband disappeared in 2013, she risked her life to find any news of him. “I searched in all security branches, but to give any information, they asked me for money which I did not have,” she recalls. Her husband is among the unknown thousands who have been abducted, detained, or gone […]

Inside the Anwar Raslan Trial: Raslan speaks (through his lawyer)

TRIAL OF ANWAR RASLAN and EYAD AL GHARIB Higher Regional Court – Koblenz, Germany Trial Monitoring Report 2 Hearing dates of May 18 & 19, 2020 Highlights Trial Day 5 Four witnesses from the German government, including a translator, testified about their interviews with Eyad Al-Gharib during his asylum procedure. Anwar Raslan’s defence counsel read […]

Turkey Has Opened the Door to the European Court of Human Rights for Syrian Victims

As most readers will be aware, Syrian victims of the nine-year conflict in their country have scant opportunities for justice. Russia has repeatedly vetoed efforts to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and we are left with a patchwork of trials in Europe under universal jurisdiction. To date, those trials have focused […]

Letter to the Committee on Detainees and Kidnapped Persons in Syria

20 May 2020 To:     Syrians for Detainees and Abductees Syrian Democratic Council In a press release on 5 April 2020, the Syrian Democratic Council announced the formation of a committee to follow-up on the file of detainees and kidnapped persons in Syria, calling on the parties to the conflict in Syria to abide by international […]