As war crimes and crimes against humanity continue to go unpunished in Syria, two international rights group have launched online campaigns calling on world leaders to take immediate action to deliver justice, truth, and reparation to the millions of victims of the conflict.
The campaigns were launched by Amnesty International and Handicap International to mark the sixth anniversary of the revolution which has left over 320,000 people killed, a million injured, and millions more displaced inside Syria and abroad.
Amnesty’s Justice for Syria campaign called on governments to end impunity and make accountability a reality for the Syrian people by supporting and funding the investigative mechanism on Syria voted for by the UN General Assembly in December 2016 and by enforcing universal jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute suspected perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria.
“Six harrowing years on, there is no excuse for allowing the horrific crimes under international law that are being committed in Syria to go unpunished,” said Samah Hadid, Director of Campaigns at Amnesty International’s Beirut Regional Office.
“Governments already have the legal tools at their disposal to end the impunity that has allowed hundreds of thousands of Syrians to be killed and millions more displaced. It is time to put those tools into action,” Hadid added.
Handicap International, known for its international campaigns that led to the treaties banning landmines and cluster munitions, launched an online petition as part of the campaign to mark the sixth anniversary of the revolution in Syria.
The petition, titled Stop Bombing Civilians, aims to collect one million signatures.
“Bombing and shelling are the rule in the Syrian conflict. They have reached a level of terrifying intensity, with a devastating impact on civilians,” said Aleema Shivji, Executive Director of Handicap International UK. “Cities have been destroyed and their populations traumatized. It will take generations for the country to recover once the conflict is over.”
“Explosive weapons, including illegal weapons such as cluster munitions and anti-personnel mines, are used in populated areas and have a devastating impact on civilians. The international community must firmly and systematically condemn these practices,” Shivji added.
Activists in Syria and the diaspora marked the sixth anniversary of the Syrian revolution under the theme “The Revolution Will Emerge Victorious.” They vowed to continue the struggle against the Assad regime forces and the Iranian-backed militias until their aspirations for freedom and dignity are met. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department of + Agencies)