UN / Geneva: NPWJ and NRPTT convene side event on “Ending Impunity for Atrocities in Syria”

17 Jun, 2014 | Press Releases

26th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva, 17 June 2014

On the occasion of the 26th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, No Peace Without Justice and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) convened a side event on “Ending Impunity for Atrocities in Syria”, which was held on Tuesday 17 June 2014 (from 15:00 to 17:00), at the Palais des Nations (Room XVII). The meeting was co-sponsored by the Governments of ItalyFrance and Qatar.

Keynote speakers of the meeting included: H.E. Ahmad Tu’mahPrime Minister of Syrian Interim Government, and Mr. Haitham Al MalehPresident of the Legal Committee of the Syrian Coalition. Panelists were Mr. Imad Al-Din Al-RashidChair of the Political Bureau, Syrian National MovementMs. Hasna Harririformer prisoner in Intelligence Branch 215’s detention centerBrigadier General Assad Alzubiformer commander, Syrian Air ForcesDr. Alistair HayProfessor of Environmental Toxicology at the University of LeedsMr Ayman Ghojal‎, Violations Documentation Center in Syria (VDC). The meeting was opened by Mr. Marco Perducaformer Italian Senator, Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, and Mr Paolo CuculiCounsellor, Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN and other International Organisations, and moderated by Mr. Niccolò Figà-TalamancaSecretary General No Peace Without Justice.

The purpose of this side event was to highlight the gross human rights violations that have been and continue to be committed on a daily basis all across Syria as well the efforts to shade a light on these horrors. What is happening in Syria is a humanitarian and human rights disaster. The link between the humanitarian and human rights situation is clear: people have a right to food, medical treatment and security. They also have a right to express their opinions, live their lives and elect freely their own representatives. However, the people in Syria are able to enjoy none of these rights.

The lack of focus on accountability, be it for crimes under international law or failure to adhere to international legal obligations as prescribed in general law and by UN Resolutions, created a situation where impunity is the norm. The international community has to redouble its efforts to support justice and accountability for the Syrian people, as the only nonviolent and effective tool to break the cycle of violence and to bring justice to the Syrian people.


Press Coverage


  • Akhbar Alaan TV, 19 June 2014 (Arabic)

NPWJ’s Syria Project on Justice and Accountability
NPWJ project on Syria aims at reducing the expectation and the rewards of impunity for crimes under international law by working with Syrian judges, lawyers and civil society activists to build a culture of accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The mainstay of the project is a series of advocacy and training events, which are being held in Gaziantep, Turkey, near the Syrian border, with Syrian judges, lawyers and civil society activists from Syria who can bring the skills and (perhaps more importantly) aspirations for justice back to their work and their constituents inside Syria. The long-term goal of this project is to promote democracy and human rights protection through incorporating justice and accountability in decision-making on conflict resolution and stability, development, and reconstructing planning in Syria. The project’s strategic objective is to support Syrian civil society playing an active role on justice and accountability issues, including advocacy and documenting human rights violations, including receiving, gathering, collecting, collating, processing and securely storing information, documentation and materials and analyse it for the purpose of establishing what happened and reconstructing decision-making processes that resulted in violations international humanitarian and human rights law in Syria since March 2011.

For further information, contact Enrica Barago (UN Advocacy Officer) on ebarago@npwj.org, Gianluca Eramo (MENA Democracy program Coordinator) on geramo@npwj.org or Nicola Giovannini (Press & Public Affairs Coordinator) on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32-2-548-3915.