Geneva – February 26, 2019: The Syrian Network for Human Rights signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to assist in the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible according to international law for the most serious crimes committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011. The (IIIM) was established by the UN General Assembly resolution 71/248 of December 21, 2016.
Immediately after signing the new agreement, Fadel Abdul Ghany, the Chairman of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, handed over the first installment of a large number of incidents extracted from the SNHR database to the Mechanism. Further installments will continue to be delivered in the coming weeks.
The Memorandum of Understanding is articulated around the sharing of data and evidence of human rights violations documented by the SNHR since March 2011, with documentation still ongoing, to support the mandate of the Mechanism in the analysis and investigation of violations perpetrated which constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Mechanism’s mandate, as stated in paragraph 4 of resolution 71/248, is “to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyze evidence of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights violations and abuses, and to prepare files in order to facilitate and expedite fair and independent criminal proceedings, in accordance with international law standards, in national, regional or international courts or tribunals that have or may in the future have jurisdiction over these crimes, in accordance with international law”
The SNHR urges all Syrian human rights organizations that work in documenting and monitoring human rights violations to coordinate in sharing data and evidence with the International Impartial and Independent mechanism (IIIM). We emphasize that international organizations are in constant need of indispensably valuable partnership and coordination with locally active human rights organizations.
The SNHR, which supported the original decision to establish the Mechanism, have already held several bilateral meetings with its president and with several of its investigators working in a variety of jurisdictions, and will continue to support its work, which we believe is effective in serving the path of accountability and justice in Syria.