ECtHR as an Avenue for Accountability: Possibilities and Constraints

As Russia has, for the time being, closed the door on all available means for international accountability against the Assad government’s atrocities in Syria, human rights groups and lawyers have pursued alternative avenues for justice, including through national prosecutions in European jurisdictions. Although the complaints that target high-level government officials are hugely symbolic, it remains […]

US Military Action against Syria and the Policy Vacuum

Last Thursday, the United States launched strikes on the Shayrat Air Field in Damascus in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun that killed over 80 civilians. Non-governmental organizations such as the International Rescue Committee have called on the United States to build upon these strikes “to stop the killing […]

From Condemnation to Accountability: Chemical Attack in Khan Shaykhun

Monday, reports emerged that over 70 civilians died in what appears to be a chemical weapon attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun located in the province of Idlib. Early indicators have led weapons experts to believe the Syrian government perpetrated the attack using a nerve agent, but the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical […]

Bridging the Digital Divide of Human Rights Documentation in Syria

This week in Brussels, human rights and technology organizations convened at RightsCon to hear about the latest developments at the intersection of the Internet and human rights. At the same time, a collaborative effort between Amnesty International, Benetech, and The Engine Room released the Arabic version of DatNav: How to navigate digital data for human […]

Forced Displacement in Syria and International Accountability

Last week, in a Russia-brokered agreement between pro-government and opposition forces, approximately 1,100 civilians left their homes in the Homs neighborhood of al-Waer. This marks one of the largest single population transfers in Syria, with thousands more civilians expected to follow suit. Although the sign-up for the “evacuation” was characterized as voluntary, pro-government forces coerced […]

A memorandum to the Secretary General of the United Nations regarding the new United Nations mechanism for investigation and prosecution

  19 January 2017   His Excellency the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, We, Syrian organizations working in the areas of human rights violations, documentation, accountability, and transitional justice, signed this memorandum in regards to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/71/ L.48 on the establishment of the International, Impartial and Independent […]

The Media’s War: How the press is fueling Syria’s conflict

The events of the Syrian conflict have captivated the world’s attention over the past five years, primarily as a result of widespread media coverage. While much of this coverage has been quality and objective reporting, some media outlets have served to fuel violence and hatred amongst different ethnic and sectarian groups. Freedom of expression, an […]

A Look Back on Russia’s First Year in the Syrian Conflict

September 30, 2016 marked the first anniversary of Russia’s direct military involvement in the Syrian conflict. Although many onlookers initially believed that recent attempts to broker peace would succeed due to Russia’s leverage over the Syrian government, this has not turned out to be the case. Instead, Russia has disrupted the peace process by actively […]

The International Community’s Gross Negligence in Syria

For anyone following the Syrian crisis, the news of the past two months has been tragic and has highlighted the international community’s gross negligence in protecting civilians and providing hope that justice will be a part of Syria’s future. In August, a chemical weapons report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN Joint […]