What Trump Failed to Say in Helsinki

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met Monday in Helsinki for the first official meeting between the two leaders. At the summit, President Putin stated that “establishing peace and reconciliation” in Syria is of mutual interest to the United States and Russia and that these tasks “could be the first showcase example […]

Strengthening, not Abandoning, the Human Rights Council

Last month the United States officially withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), calling the Council a “protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.” Although few would argue that reforms are not needed, blanket criticisms of the UNHRC disregard that the Council has provided one of the only spaces for […]

Supporting Syrian Survivors During Justice Processes

In 1998, the UN passed resolution 52/149, making June 26th the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture to raise awareness of the prevalence of torture and its absolute prohibition under international law. Now, over twenty years later, the struggle to eradicate torture continues, but, in Syria, the practice remains prevalent not only in […]

Jamil Hassan and the Challenges of Universal Jurisdiction

On June 8, Der Spiegel broke the news that Germany’s chief federal prosecutor has issued an arrest warrant for Jamil Hassan, the head of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence Directorate, who is accused of implementing a campaign of murder and torture through the department’s detention facilities. The warrant is the result of years of work […]

Seeking Justice for Property Theft in Yarmouk

On May 21, after a month of fighting between government forces and the Islamic State (IS), Syrian troops reentered Yarmouk Camp, one of the final areas of Southern Damascus that had been outside of government control. The return of Syrian troops was accompanied by widespread reports of looting. Local news sites and social media users […]

What SJAC has Learned from Documenting the Role of Children in the Syrian Conflict

SJAC’s database contains over 1.8 million pieces of documentation, covering a wide cross section of human rights violations being committed in Syria. To make sense of this huge volume of data so that it can be searched, linked, and filtered in the future, SJAC’s Data Analysis team labels and analyzes each piece of documentation with […]

The Principle of Non-Refoulement is Under Threat in Lebanon

On May 6, Lebanon went to the polls in the country’s first parliamentary elections since 2009. In a deeply divided country, one campaign position was largely shared across the political spectrum: opposition to the continued presence of Syrian refugees on Lebanese soil. With an estimated 1.5 million Syrian residents, Lebanon hosts more refugees per capita […]

The US Senate Again Grapples with the CIA Torture Program During Haspel Confirmation Hearing

The rendition, detention and interrogation (RDI) program is again making headlines in the United States with the nomination of Gina Haspel to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) due to questions surrounding the nature of her involvement with the program. On Wednesday, the US Senate Intelligence Committee had the opportunity to […]

Statement issued by Syrian organizations working in the fields of documentation, accountability and transitional justice in support of the work of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM)

  Wednesday, 18 April 2018   We, the signatories to this letter, are Syrian organizations working on human rights documentation, accountability, and transitional justice in Syria. Reaffirming our commitment to the demands of justice and accountability, standing in solidarity with all victims in Syria and recognizing their demands for justice and redress, we would like […]

New Commission of Inquiry Report Focuses on Detainees

On March 9, the UN  Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Syria released a new report, ‘Detention in the Syrian Arab Republic: A Way Forward.’ The report offers an overview of the detainee crisis in Syria: tens of thousands of Syrians held with no due process, families with no knowledge of their loved ones, and prisons […]