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 Draft Guidance was issued by the Department of State regarding the export of surveillance technologies that may be used in violation of citizens’ right to privacy, including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 Although the Draft Guidance will not be legally binding, […]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 […]

VIDEO: Return is a Dream

The Syria Justice and Accountability Centre’s report, ‘Return is a Dream,’ explores the history of property ownership and administration in Syria and examines property related crimes committed throughout the conflict. This video highlights the history, research, and recommendations on property restitution in Syria made by SJAC. Some of the recommendations outlined in this report include […]

SJAC Launches Universal Jurisdiction Guides

On September 4, 2019, SJAC launched its Universal Jurisdiction guides at an event at the House of Democracy and Human Rights in Berlin organized by SJAC in partnership with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the Caesar Files Group. Legal practitioners, activists, and ordinary Syrians joined the discussion on the rights […]

Breaking the Cycle of Enforced Disappearances

On Friday, August 30, the United Nations will observe the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. For Syrians, this day serves as a stark reminder of the tens of thousands who remain missing after years of conflict. While widespread disappearances are a defining aspect of the present conflict, the Syrian government is responsible […]

EVENT: Syrian war crimes: victims’ rights and opportunities (Berlin)

Since 2011, Syrians have witnessed widespread atrocities at an unimaginable scale but they have limited means to seek justice within Syria. Under the principle of “Universal Jurisdiction”, Germany has adopted legislation which allows its courts to prosecute serious crimes committed during the Syrian conflict. Prosecutors in Special War Crimes Units in Germany and other European […]

Accountability for Chemical Weapons Attacks, Six Years After Ghouta

August 21st, 2019 will mark six years since the Syrian government attacked Eastern Ghouta with Sarin, killing an estimated 1,429 people, including at least 426 children. The attack gained international attention, and ultimately led to a joint US-Russian effort to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons program. However, this effort ultimately failed to stop the proliferation of […]

Inside the Syrian Arab Red Crescent

Eight years into the Syrian war, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) has become the leading organization directing and implementing humanitarian aid efforts in Syria. Under regulations set by the government, it is now estimated that around 60% of international aid in Syria is channeled through SARC. UN agencies, the ICRC, and other international humanitarian […]