Accountability, redress and the future of Syria

Statement, Syria

Ahead of the 24-25 April “Brussels II Conference”, the undersigned international and Syrian Non-Governmental Organisations call on the European Union and the United Nations to ensure that accountability for atrocities in Syria and justice for victims be integrated as a central concern of the discussions on the “future of Syria”. {…}

Impunity is affecting all Syrians inside and outside of Syria and will have severe long-term consequences if not addressed urgently. Impunity for past and present crimes gives a blank check to perpetrators and abusers to continue committing serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law, and threatens to undermine popular trust in any judicial system reconstructed from its repressive forebears. Feelings of injustice and the absence of redress will result in frustration and in a fertile soil for extremism; they will prevent the rehabilitation of victims and the restoration of trust and confidence in new state institutions and in the rule of law.

Furthermore, the sense of persistent injustice that accompanies total impunity will prevent Syrians who have fled their country from voluntarily returning.

Read the full letter here.