Syria: gross human rights violations continue at alarming rate against endemic impunity backdrop

The ICJ called today on the UN Human Rights Council ot create an international mechanism on missing persons on Syria during the interactive dialogue with the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

The statement reads as follows:

“Mr President

The ICJ notes with profound concern the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Syria’s report and its conclusion that, 11 years after the start of the war, “[Syria] is still not a safe place to return” to. The report documents an increase in grave violations of human rights and humanitarian law across the country over the last six months, including systematic arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment, torture and unlawful deaths in custody.

The COI also underlines that, “despite some notable convictions in criminal proceedings in Europe, there was no comprehensive accountability for serious human rights violations and war crimes” committed in Syria.

Government forces have forcibly disappeared tens of thousands of individuals who remain unaccounted for. The Syrian authorities have deliberately concealed the fate and whereabouts of the disappeared, and thus have continued to inflict cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on the relatives of their victims.

Concurring with both the COI’s and the UNSG’s recommendations, the ICJ reiterates its call on Member States to create an independent mechanism with an international mandate to coordinate and consolidate claims regarding missing persons, including persons subjected to enforced disappearances. Furthermore, to fill the accountability gap, the ICJ calls on Member States to act individually and collectively by exercising universal or other forms of extraterritorial jurisdiction.

I thank you. ”


Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a), t: +41797499949

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