On Tuesday, the International Court of Justice in The Hague commenced a trial session regarding the Syrian regime, prompted by a lawsuit jointly filed by Canada and the Netherlands. The lawsuit centers on allegations of torture and the use of chemical weapons and is anticipated to last for two days.
The Court revealed that Canada and the Netherlands had submitted a collaborative application on June 8, 2023, to litigate against the Syrian regime. The allegations pertain to violations of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel and Inhuman Treatment, encompassing the use of chemical weapons since 2011.
In their complaint, Canada and the Netherlands detailed the unimaginable physical and mental suffering experienced by victims, attributed to the abhorrent treatment of detainees, inhumane conditions in detention facilities, enforced disappearances, sexual and gender-based violence, and violence against children.
The two countries beseeched the court to urgently issue orders to Syria, mandating the cessation of all forms of torture and arbitrary detention, permitting foreign inspectors to access prisons, and facilitating the sharing of information with families concerning the whereabouts of their relatives. They underscored Syria’s widespread employment of a pervasive torture system.
Established after World War II, the International Court of Justice adjudicates exclusively in disputes between States , with its decisions being final and unappealable.
The court’s ruling, expected in several weeks, could potentially result in preventive measures, urging the involved parties to refrain from actions that could undermine the effectiveness of subsequent decisions by the judges in this case, a process that may span years.
Two days ago, Human Rights Watch reported that since 2011, they have extensively documented tens of thousands of arbitrary detentions and instances of torture perpetrated by regime forces, constituting crimes against humanity. In August 2013, a military defector known as “Caesar” smuggled photographs from Syria that provided compelling evidence of widespread torture, famine, beatings, and disease within Syrian government detention facilities.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.