A panel of Syrian and international experts affirmed that despite the increasing number of evidence of human rights violations in Syria, the process of pursuing justice and accountability faces many obstacles.
This affirmation comes during a session organized by the “US Institute for Peace” to examine the effectiveness of the international, impartial and independent mechanism, which was established by the UN in 2016 to collect, preserve and analyze evidence of human rights violations in Syria.
According to “Arab News” newspaper, the participants in the session pointed out that there are ways to overcome the obstacles, but this process may take a long time, as it could take years for perpetrators and war criminals to be brought to trial.
“Despite the challenges, the process of war crimes data collection are useful and could lead to prosecutions and put pressure on the Assad regime to take responsibility for its actions,” said Catherine Marchi-Uhel, the Head of the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism to assist in the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of war crimes in Syria.
The ambassador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice at the US Department of State, confirmed that “efforts are being made to secure International Criminal Court jurisdiction for investigations into war crimes in Syria.
For his part, the director of the Syrian Center for Justice and Accountability, Mohammad al-Abdallah, said “We do not have many accountability mechanisms, but we have many good efforts by some member states, and many crimes that are still untouched.”
He pointed out that Syria is not a member state of the Rome Statute, so the International Criminal Court couldn’t practice jurisdiction over crimes committed in Syria, explaining that “the Assad regime has no record, trust, or even credibility to open investigations inside Syria.”