March 02, 2017, 00:00
Deliberate attacks on civilian infrastructure, indiscriminate bombings and the torture and execution of civilians are just some of the crimes committed by almost all conflict parties in Syria since 2011. Syrian activists have been documenting these crimes in order to one day bring those responsible to justice.
There is little prospect of accountability on an international level. The International Criminal Court is not an option as Syria is not a signatory to its statute and Russia is blocking a referral by the UN Security Council. With the principle of Universal Jurisdiction, however, there is a tool for third states to prosecute perpetrators domestically. Prosecutors in Germany and other EU countries are currently monitoring, investigating and prosecuting human rights related crimes in Syria.
Now, ECCHR and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung are bringing together survivors of torture and mass atrocities in Syria as well as Syrian lawyers, international activists and legal and political experts to discuss potential avenues for prosecution and the meaning of criminal accountability for the crimes committed in Syria. The speakers at the event in Berlin will include:
James Rodehaver, UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (Geneva)
Ambassador Andreas Krüger, Department on Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, German Foreign Office
Anwar al-Bunni, Syrian lawyer and Human Rights activist
Mazen Darwish, Syrian lawyer Human Rights activist
Lotte Leicht, Human Rights Watch (Brussels)
Chris Woods, Airwars (London)
Bente Scheller, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Beirut)
Wolfgang Kaleck, ECCHR (Berlin)
Introduction: Cem Özdemir, Federal Chairman BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN