SHRC statement regarding the lawsuit filed by the Netherlands and Canada against the Syrian regime before the International Court of Justice
Yesterday, Monday, June 12, 2023, the governments of the Netherlands and Canada filed a joint lawsuit against the Syrian regime with the International Court of Justice regarding its committing of torture crimes against Syrian citizens.
The lawsuit says that the Syrian regime has committed countless violations of international law, beginning at least in 2011, with its violent suppression of civilian demonstrations, use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees, inhumane conditions in places of detention, and enforced disappearances, the use of sexual and gender-based violence, violence against children and the use of chemical weapons.
The two governments called for urgent measures to be taken to protect those at risk of torture, including issuing orders to the regime to release arbitrarily detained prisoners and to allow international observers to enter detention centres.
The Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC) appreciates this decision – albeit a long delay – which embodies the commitment of the Netherlands and Canada to human rights and reflects their commitment to the principles of international law and international human rights conventions, including the United Nations Convention against Torture, and this is an important step towards achieving justice and holding accountable those responsible for the heinous crimes committed by the Syrian regime against the Syrian people, and that the adoption of the International Court of Justice as an arena for the trial of the Syrian regime reinforces the clear message that human rights cannot be violated and that heinous crimes will not pass without consequences, and that the Syrian Human Rights Committee is fully prepared to cooperate with the court with its evidence and documents .
SHRC stresses the importance of supporting and strengthening the decisive role of international law in achieving justice and preventing impunity for acts of repression and gross violations against innocent civilians in Syria, and that the horrific crimes of the Syrian regime, which constitute a flagrant violation of international human rights law, international humanitarian law and the United Nations Convention against Torture, will not be ignored and pass without accountability. Tolerance and will not be subject to statute of limitations, and that those responsible for these crimes will be prosecuted and held accountable sooner or later. And that the United Nations Convention against Torture and international human rights laws represent a legal framework that cannot be ignored. SHRC asks all countries to act jointly to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria. It considers that the pursuit of truth and justice is an international responsibility, and that justice is not just a wish, but rather a right for every human being subjected to violations and injustice.