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 […]

Documents Obtained by SJAC Show Role of Syrian Intelligence in Directing Humanitarian Aid

In recent weeks, two reports published by Human Rights Watch and Chatham House have shed light on how the Syrian government has effectively ‘co-opted’ the multi-billion-dollar humanitarian relief effort in Syria. Through political pressure and regulations, the government manipulates the flow of humanitarian aid to punish perceived enemy populations, and benefit government loyalists. Insights from […]

Anti-migrant Political Climate in Turkey Triggers Deportation of Syrian Nationals

Since July 12th, Turkish authorities have begun a crackdown on migrants living in Istanbul, following statements from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on new deportation policies targeting Syrians refugees accused of committing crimes. The policy has transformed into the removal of all unregistered Syrian nationals from Istanbul, and has led to the forced deportation of some […]

New Government Policies Worsen Conditions of Refugees in Lebanon

Refugees in Lebanon are facing an impossible choice: stay in an increasingly repressive and hostile environment in Lebanon, or face persecution and violence in returning to Syria. In late June, Lebanese President Michel Aoun told a visiting U.S. delegation that “Syrian territory, except for Idlib (province) and its surrounding area, is now stable, making it […]

“Their only sin was to want to live in dignity:” Urgent Action is Needed in Idlib

  In June, SJAC’s Documentation Team Lead crossed the border from southern Turkey into Northwest Syria in order to spend the Eid holiday with her family. The Team Lead manages SJAC’s field team and network of documentation partners, and she is well-aware of the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib, where indiscriminate airstrikes are placing over three […]

Fires fuel retribution and paranoia in Northeast Syria

  After years of drought, heavy rainfalls this year had raised hopes for a bountiful harvest. Yet across Northern Syria, farmers are watching helplessly as months of toil and their source of livelihood burn to ashes. For many farmers and local communities already suffering from high rates of food insecurity and debt, the destruction of […]