Launch Event for SNHR’s Tenth Annual Report: The Most Notable Human Rights Violations in Syria in 2020
For the tenth consecutive year – since the start of the popular uprising in Syria in March 2011 – we at the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) have continued to document the perpetration of multiple patterns of egregious human rights violations in Syria, including extrajudicial killings, arrests, torture, displacement and forced displacement, and the use of prohibited munitions and other highly destructive munitions, as well as other violations. The Syrian regime is by far the most prolific perpetrator of various patterns of violations in terms of the severity and quantity of its crimes, with some of these violations constituting crimes against humanity and war crimes. The international community and the UN Security Council have consistently failed to mitigate the severity of the violations or to help in any way to end the Syrian conflict. Meanwhile, the main demand of the popular uprising and the Syrian society remains the same, namely to hold all perpetrators of violations accountable, move Syria from dictatorship and human rights violations towards democracy, and ensure adherence to human rights principles and international law.
2020 saw the documentation of the deaths of 1,734 civilians, including 326 children and 169 women, and 1,882 cases of arbitrary arrest/ detention, in addition to the deaths of 157 individuals as a result of torture, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights’ database. The Syrian Network for Human Rights estimates that nearly 850,000 persons have been subjected to forced displacement in 2020, with 90 percent of these people displaced as a result of military operations launched by the Syrian-Russian alliance forces.
In January 2021, the Syrian Network for Human Rights issued its tenth annual report, in which it detailed several patterns of the most notable human rights violations in Syria (the report is available at this link: https://sn4hr.org/?p=55886). The report also documents key events in 2020 in the political, judicial and military spheres in order to give a clearer picture of the context of the circumstances in which these violations took place. The report, which stresses the direct responsibility of the ruling Syrian regime that controls the Syrian state in committing violations, includes the names of Syrian regime officials believed to be involved in committing these violations. The report also provides a record of the most notable human rights violations committed by all the parties to the conflict and the controlling forces in Syria in 2020. Despite the statistics included in the report indicating a decrease in the death toll from some violations, the numbers documented are still the highest in the world, further underlining the urgent need for redoubled efforts in reaching the path of accountability, and attaining compensation for victims and humanitarian aid, ending the conflict, and achieving a just political transition.
As the tenth anniversary of the start of the popular uprising approaches, we believe it is more important than ever that we all think about what we can do to end the atrocious crimes, achieve a just solution for the victims, and make real progress towards transitional justice.
The online event, marking the official launch of SNHR’s report, will focus on the following questions:
• How can we put greater pressure on the parties to the conflict/ controlling forces to mitigate and end the horrific violations against civilians in 2021?
• Why has the international community failed to take any action that would stop the grave violations, despite these violations continuing for nearly a decade and their widespread nature?
• In addition to bringing criminal cases through the use of universal jurisdiction, and political and economic sanctions, what are the remaining effective accountability tools to pressure the Syrian regime and all parties to the conflict in Syria to end the horrific violations against civilians documented in the report? How can effective accountability for these violations be promoted? What role or roles can local and international organizations play in this context?
• How can we boost the presence of the Syrian crisis on the international agenda and strive towards attaining a just solution to the bloody conflict?
• What is the potential future impact of these violations on the Syrian state and society, and what is their relationship with the current political process (the Constitutional Committee)?
– Mr. Kristyan Benedict, Amnesty International UK Campaigns Manager: Crisis & Tactical, Syria
– Dr. Simon Adams, Executive Director, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect – Co-Chair of Skateistan
– Mr. Patrick Kroker, International Crimes and Accountability program on Syria, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
– Ms. Anna Fleischer, Program Coordinator, Heinrich Boell Foundation Middle East
– Mr. Fadel Abdul Ghany, Chairman, Syrian Network for Human Rights
Moderator: Ms. Emma Beals, Senior Advisor at European Institute of Peace and Editor of Syria in Context.
To participate directly on Zoom, please sign up using the following link:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.
To watch the live broadcast on social media platforms:
For any additional information, please contact Mr. Abdulla Bassam