Home Press releases & statements Interactive Dialogue: COI Oral update on Syrian

Interactive Dialogue: COI Oral update on Syrian

Human Rights Council–55th Session

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On 18 March 2024, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and Syrians for Truth and Justice addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council during the presentation of an oral update of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, reiterated the commission’s demand for a ceasefire amidst escalating hostilities across Syria, called the international community to adopt an inclusive approach to accountability, and urged neighboring countries with Syrian refugee communities to abide by the prohibitions on “non-refoulement.”

Delivered by: Bassam al-Ahmad

Thank you, Mr. President,

CIHRS, in partnership with Syrians for Truth and Justice, welcome the report of the International Commission of Inquiry submitted to this session of the Council. We express our deep concern about the escalation of hostilities across Syria, and support the Commission’s demand for an urgent ceasefire.

As the Syrian conflict nears its 14th year, Syria has become a land of impunity. The various parties to the conflict have taken advantage of a lack of sustained attention on the situation to commit further violations that may amount to war crimes.

This includes indiscriminate attacks by the Syrian government in the north-western territories, that caused multiple civilian deaths and injuries, as well as deliberate Turkish airstrikes on energy infrastructure that denied over a million people access to water and electricity.

We condemn all crimes committed by all parties and declare our full solidarity with victims throughout Syria and in neighboring countries, where Syrian refugees face forced deportations and the arbitrary arrest of activists. We call on such authorities, especially Lebanon and Türkiye, to respect their obligations concerning prohibitions on “non-refoulement.”

Finally, we call on the international community to adopt a more inclusive approach to accountability. Specifically, we call on European war crimes units to expand the scope of their structural investigations to include those occurring across occupied territories in northern Syria.

Thank you, Mr. President,

You can view the intervention on this link.

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