The International Court of Justice has released a statement regarding the session held on Tuesday as part of the lawsuit brought forward by Canada and the Netherlands against the Syrian regime. This lawsuit primarily centers on allegations of torture against Syrian individuals.
During the hearing, the prosecutor, Alain Kessel, presented several demands. These demands include an immediate call for the Syrian regime to take effective measures to cease and prevent all acts amounting to torture, as well as other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. The prosecutor insisted on the following actions:
- Cease arbitrary detentions.
- Release all individuals held arbitrarily or unlawfully.
- Put an end to incommunicado detentions.
- Allow access to all official and unofficial regime detention facilities by independent monitoring mechanisms and medical personnel.
- Permit contact and visits between detainees, their families, and legal advisers.
- Implement urgent measures to improve conditions in all detention facilities to ensure humane treatment of all detainees in accordance with international standards.
The prosecution emphasized that the Syrian regime must not destroy or deny access to any evidence related to cases of torture, including medical or other records documenting injuries resulting from such treatment. Access to the remains of individuals who have been victims of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment should not be denied.
Furthermore, the prosecution demanded that the Syrian regime preserve information regarding the cause of death of any detainee who died in custody or during hospital treatment. This includes forensic examination of human remains and burial sites, along with providing the next of kin of the deceased with a death certificate stating the true cause of death.
The prosecution also insisted that the regime disclose the burial sites of those who died due to torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment after being arrested, hospitalized, or detained to their next of kin.
It was stressed that the Syrian regime should refrain from taking any action that could exacerbate or expand the existing conflict that is the subject of the lawsuit or make it more challenging to resolve. The prosecutor also requested that a report be submitted to the Court detailing all measures taken to implement the “interim measures” within six months from the date of their issuance and every six months thereafter until the dispute is resolved.
Additionally, the prosecution called upon the Syrian regime to take immediate steps to reduce the risk of torture committed by its officials and other personnel. This includes issuing instructions to ensure detainees are treated in accordance with their human dignity and suspending any staff members suspected of torture or ill-treatment.
The court’s decision will be issued in a public session, with the date to be announced at a later time.
Cancellation of the second session
The International Court of Justice has decided to cancel the second hearing, originally scheduled for Wednesday. This cancellation is a result of the Syrian regime’s absence from the first session and its failure to send a delegation to represent it at the proceedings, as reported by Enab Baladi’s correspondent at the court.
Joan Donogo, the President of the Tribunal, expressed her disappointment regarding the Syrian regime’s non-participation, stating that “the Court regrets the failure of the Syrian Arab Republic to appear.”
Kessel, the head of Canada’s legal team, addressed the judges, emphasizing that “Syria’s decision not to participate in today’s proceedings does not exempt it from complying with the court’s orders.”
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.