The Syrian Commission for Transitional Justice and the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies said on Wednesday that efforts are underway to establish a Special Syrian Court to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria.
The two bodies will hold a two-day meeting on 6, 7 February in Istanbul to discuss the plan. Syrian lawyers, judges, human rights organizations, and victims of human rights abuses are expected to attend the gathering in order to provide insight into the future of Syrian accountability and reconciliation. Syrian human rights organizations are also scheduled to discuss methods for establishing a central database of human rights violations in Syria to serve as a unified cache of evidence for future prosecutions.
Radwan Ziadeh, the head of the Syrian Commission for Transitional Justice, described the importance of creating a Special Syrian Court.
“The only hope for breaking the endless cycle of impunity in Syria is to immediately create a Special Court capable of holding perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity accountable for their actions,” he said.
The Syrian Interim Government established the Syrian Commission for Transitional Justice in November, 2013. The Commission is tasked with leading the transitional justice file on Syria.
The Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies is a non-governmental organization devoted to fostering a spirit of support and respect for the values and standards of human rights in Syria.