The Independent International Commission of Inquiry published its periodic report No. A/HRC/52/69 on human rights cases that require the attention of the Human Rights Council in Syria, which covers the period from July 2022 to December 2022. The report comprised 26 pages and 18 appendices and dealt with eight axes related to the mandate, methodology, political and military developments, sexual violence, and gender-based violence. As well as the military attacks of the Syrian regime forces and the forces loyal to it, and human rights violations in the areas controlled by the Syrian regime, in addition to the breaches of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, attacks and violations in northern Aleppo, and attacks and violations in the northeast of Syria, and the report concluded with legal recommendations.
Following the policy of the Free Syrian Lawyers Association in supporting justice efforts, the legal team of the FSLA cooperated with the crew of the International Commission of Inquiry and has contributed to providing the commission with several legal reports related to documenting cases of detainees held by the Syrian regime who have been subjected to gross human rights violations such as arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture, extrajudicial executions or hired procedures, and unfair trials. These cases were presented as strategic communications that constitute evidence of a systematic policy and typical behaviour followed by the Syrian regime with its opponents.
Moreover, the FSLA legal team presented a legal analysis of some decrees, laws, and legislation issued by the Syrian regime, constituting a human rights violation in Syria. The FSLA’s contributions to the commission’s report were mentioned in the following paragraphs: 52-60-61 of report No. A/HRC/52/69, and Paragraphs 22-23-24-26 in Annex A/HRC/51/45.
These paragraphs dealt with issues that the FSLA team worked on, such as,
- Documenting cases of arrests of returnees from the al-Rukban camp and proving that the Syrian regime continued to commit acts of murder, torture and ill-treatment against detained persons, including practices that lead to death while in detention, in addition to arbitrary imprisonment and enforced disappearances. This confirms once again the persistence of patterns of crimes against humanity and war crimes, a legal study of two joint reports from 19 non-governmental organisations on the Syrian regime’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It also confirms the continued violation of the right to due process and fair trials in the Syrian criminal justice system. Legal study; Correspondence to the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers; The Judicial System in Syria is Not Independent, and the Unfair Trials for the Syrian People.
- Circular of the Ministry of Justice of the Syrian Regime No. 22 of 2022; legal study; The Syrian Regime Requires Security Approval to Prove a Case of Death.
- Criminalization of Torture Law No. 16 of 2022; legal study; Criminalizing Torture; A law with a Taste of Blood.
- The behaviour of the Syrian regime and the continuous human rights violations are the reason for the decline of the Syrian refugees’ intention to return to Syria; legal study; The Conference on the Return of Refugees (Go back to hell, we are waiting for you).
The FSLA team extends its gratitude and appreciation to the International Commission of Inquiry for its report on human rights cases that require the attention of the Human Rights Council in Syria. Furthermore, we appreciate the professionalism followed in the report’s methodology and the mentioned information and facts.
We affirm our support for the legal efforts of the reports issued by the commission in this regard, and we demonstrate our continued cooperation with the International Commission of Inquiry in providing legal contributions to justice efforts in this context.