Paris – Statement by the Syrian Network for Human Rights:
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), providing for the establishment of a coordination and cooperation mechanism to share information and data documented by SNHR on human rights violations against detained medical personnel.
The memorandum of understanding focuses on sharing data and evidence on human rights violations related to the issue of medical personnel whose arrest and detention were documented by the SNHR between March 2011 and the end of December 2012. In early August 2021, the SNHR shared these data, through which we aim to contribute to a research project that seeks to develop an understanding of how medical personnel have been targeted for arrest and persecution since the earliest stages of the conflict in Syria, particularly by the Syrian regime; this data will then be employed in analyzing the impact of these actions on various other factors, especially in treating those injured by Syrian regime forces targeting peaceful demonstrations, and to demonstrate that the widespread and deliberate targeting of medical personnel has prompted hundreds of these vital workers to flee outside Syria. The project will also address the wider issue of detainees and missing persons in general in Syria.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a US-based non-governmental, non-profit organization that uses medicine and science to document and advocate against mass atrocities and severe human rights violations around the world. The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) and PHR have worked together many times over the past ten years, and we affirm our support for PHR’s work in this important research project, which comes within the framework of our united efforts as a contribution to the course of accountability and justice, and to expose the practices of the Syrian regime, which are considered among the most egregious, if not the most egregious, in the whole world in persecuting, arresting and torturing medical personnel.
Multiple Memoranda of Understanding:
This new memorandum of understanding is the latest in a number of memoranda of understanding signed by the SNHR with several bodies, most notably: United Nations bodies, including 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 has received a large quantity of data extracted from the SNHR database.
In January 2020, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) also signed a Principles of Cooperation agreement with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), enabling SNHR to contribute to the investigations into the incidents that the team is currently conducting and will conduct in the future, since the SNHR possesses an extensive database documenting the use of chemical weapons in Syria since the first use of this weapon documented by SNHR in December 2012.