Coordinator of the Syrian National Commission for the Affairs of Detainees and Missing Persons, Yasser Al-Farhan, said that the Syrian Opposition Coalition is seeking to redress the victims and prevent impunity for criminals by bringing them to international courts and holding them accountable.
Al-Farhan clarified that the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) is working on several human rights tracks to achieve justice that include redressing the victims and holding the perpetrators accountable. He added that these tracks include prosecution through the International Criminal Court, national courts, and a possible special tribunal to look into war crimes in Syria.
The second track includes the UN mechanisms to build integrated files in all cases that include the crimes amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity as well as sufficient evidence to identify the perpetrators, he added.
Al-Farhan pointed out that these mechanisms include the international investigation committees (International Impartial and Independent Mechanism), the conventions committees, the special rapporteurs, the relevant teams in the UN Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner. They also comprise the notes and letters the SOC already sent to the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly as well as the rest of the international organizations and governments.
He added that the SOC is also working to support the efforts being made by Syrian lawyers and rights activists through meetings with the supporting parties in 2016. The SOC also called on Syrians who are victims and witnesses in European countries to testify and file lawsuits in the courts of the host countries.
Al-Farhan pointed out that the SOC addressed the International Criminal Court twice in 2013 and 2017, pointing out that in the second time a request for accepting the court’s jurisdiction was submitted in accordance with Article 12 of the Rome Statute on the basis that the Assad regime does not have the legitimacy to be a party to the Rome Statute and that the SOC accepts the court’s jurisdiction in this regard as it has the international recognition necessary for that.
Moreover, he said that the SOC also sent a memorandum that contains a list of the war crimes committed by the Assad regime and a list of names of the perpetrators of the crimes, including high-ranking officers, shabiha leaders, and financiers.
Al-Farhan said that the memorandum included chapters showing the size of murders, assassinations, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances as well as evidence proving the Assad regime’s involvement in the use of chemical weapons. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)