Syria: SIJ and NPWJ mark the first anniversary of the Queiq River massacre with a ceremony in Istanbul

29 Jan, 2014 | Press Releases

Istanbul, Turkey, 29 January 2014

On 29 January 2014, the Syrian Institute for Justice (SIJ) and No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) held a ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, to mark the first anniversary of the Queiq River massacre that took place near Aleppo in Northern Syria early last year.

Panellists of the commemoration, which was chaired by Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, Secretary-General of NPWJ, included: Nabil Al Halabi, Human Rights  lawyer and manager of Life Organization, from Lebanon; Yousef Houran, Lawyer, Investigator and co-founder of SIJ, from Aleppo; Abdulkader Mandou, Human Rights Attorney, Investigator and co-founder of SIJ, from Aleppo.

This event is the first of a series of commemorative events that will culminate with the public presentation of the report “When the river speaks”, elaborated by SIJ, a Syrian-based NGO composed of lawyers and doctors. This report summarises the extensive evidence gathered by SIJ surrounding the Queiq River massacre that took place near Aleppo in Northern Syria between January and March last year. It sheds light on the circumstances – and a possible pattern – of one of Aleppo’s most grave events – the summary execution of over 200 civilians, some of whom were only children.

“Over the year citizens of Syria have witnessed many massacres and many atrocities. Today we commemorate one of them which is in some ways special, special in a way that the massacre was not a single massacre but was prolonged, sustained, systematic killing of civilians who were abducted at check-points of the regime and who over a number of weeks day by day were killed as part of massive and systematic attacks. And the Queiq River speaks about that atrocity by delivering dead bodies,” Niccolò Figà-Talamanca said in a press conference held today in İstanbul.

Press coverage:

  • Queiq river massacre in Syria commemorated in İstanbul, Lamiya Adilgizi & Julia Nho, Today’s Zaman (Istanbul), 29 Jan 2014
  • Those who’ve fled Syria want only one result from Geneva, an end to Assad’s rule,  Roy Gutman (McClatchy Foreign Staff), Star Telegram, 29 January 2014


– Venue: The ceremony will be held on 29 January 2014 at 11.30 am at the NOVOTEL Istanbul (Kennedy Cd, 34025 Istanbul).
– For any further information, you can please contact Hadi Al Khateeb (Tel. +90 (0) 537 46 42 633 – and or Roberta Pasini (Tel. +90 (0) 535 37 82 043 –
– For press inquiry, please contact Giacomo Cuscunà (Tel. +90(0)538 44 66 240 –