As many as 44 Syrian rights organizations and groups representing the victims sent a letter to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court expressing their support for the memorandum submitted earlier by the Guernica Centre for International Justice calling for the launch of investigations into the Assad regime’s war crimes against Syrian civilians.
Earlier this month, the Guernica Center for International Justice rights group submitted a memorandum to the International Criminal Court calling for the Assad regime to be held accountable for the forcible displacement of more than one million people to Jordan.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) published the text of the letter on its website. “The Syrian people have lost so much over the past eight years. They have been tortured, killed and forcibly displaced. All this took place amid the complete absence of law and the presence of absolute impunity.”
The signatories to the letter stressed that the International Criminal Court’s inclusion of the heinous crimes against civilians in its jurisdiction is an important step towards justice. It added that the ICC has a duty to investigate such crimes.
The NGOs said they stood ready to share the body of evidence they have with the ICC in order to contribute to justice. They said they were hoping that this move would offer a “glimmer of hope as they said they were expecting good news soon.
Although Syria is not a signatory to The Hague-based court, the Guernica Center is relying on a precedent set by the ICC in extending jurisdiction to the crime of forcible population transfers, as seen recently in a petition made by Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The Center noted that the ICC had the capacity to open an investigation from the Jordanian Capital Amman as it is a signatory to the Rome Statute.
The Guernica Center said that there is a fair chance that the ICC will accept the Center’s legal submission which is directed against the leadership of the regime, its armed forces, the state security, and branches of military intelligence. It demanded that Bashar al-Assad be held fully responsible for his actions. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)