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Truth and Justice Charter

Syria

On 10 February 2021, five organisations of victims and their families virtually launched the Truth and Justice Charter which reflects their common vision on how to advance victims’ rights and the cause of justice and truth in Syria. The Charter sets revealing the truth, ensuring justice for the detained and the forcibly disappeared and their families, and holding violators accountable as the building blocks for lasting peace in Syria. The organisations placed the voices and demands of the survivors, the victims, the detained, and the forcibly disappeared and their families at the forefront of any lasting political solution in Syria. The Charter is meant to serve as a joint roadmap for the organisations of victims and their families. It is also intended as a reference and a strategic vision available to all stakeholders, human rights organisations, policy makers and decision makers involved in such processes.

The five Syrian victims' organisations are partners of Impunity Watch. We provided assistance and advice to these victims' organisations throughout the process leading to the production of this Charter.

 

 

 

 

Since 2011, the Syrian regime has been widely using arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture in all its forms, and inhumane treatment. Meanwhile, the international community has failed to stop the regime from carrying out these acts and to hold the perpetrators to account. A culture of impunity has spread and the methods have been emulated by the majority of Syria’s armed factions, radical organisations, and de facto authorities. 

Who launched the charter? 

Which organisations are behind the Charter? 

  • Groups of survivors and relatives of victims;

  • Holders of rights, sorrows, hopes and legitimacy; and

  • Supporters of a common vision.   

Who are the victims concerned with the Charter?

  • Victims of  torture and cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment, and their families;

  • Victims of arbitrary detention and their families;

  • Victims of extrajudicial killing and their families; and

  • Victims of enforced disappearance and all violations associated with these crimes, and their families.

What does the Charter aim to develop?

  • A framework to guide work on arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance taking the views of the victims themselves as a starting point. 

  • A discourse expressing the demands and aspirations of the victims and prioritising their own narrative, within the framework of international legal principles and humanitarian standards.

  • A common ground for victims’ organisations to work collectively in the future.

What are the foundations of the Charter?

  • Adopting a victim-centred approach as a basis to any legal, political, and judicial work that addresses or influences the rights of victims; thus challenging elitist or external pressures and agendas that may be in conflict with the vision of the victims. 

  • Using as terms of reference, legal principles and international humanitarian standards based on various branches of international law relevant to the situation in Syria.

  • The values of the founding victims’ organisations are: independence; inclusivity; impartiality; transparency; non-discrimination between victims based on their identity, type of violation, extent of suffering, or violating entity; and self-representation for victims.

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Truth and Justice Charter

A common vision on the question of enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention in Syria by Syrian victims' and family members' organisations.  

ENGLISH 

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ميثاق الحقيقة والعدالة

رؤية مشتركة حول قضية الإخفاء القسري والإعتقال التعسفي في سورية من منظمات الضحايا السوريين وأفراد أسرهم

باللغة العربية

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E-launch of the Charter

In an independent initiative, 5 victims' and family members' organisations launched on 10 February 2021, the Truth and Justice Charter.

Watch the e-launch

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How can we rebuild our country while more than half a million people have been arrested? Upon which mass grave will we place the new buildings’ foundations?

 

كيف بدنا نرجع نبني بلدنا بعد ما اعتقل في أكتر من مليون انسان وفوق أي مقبرة جماعية رح نرجع نحط أساسات البناء؟ اليوم أطلقنا ميثاق الحقيقة والعدالة من أجل سورية.

 

The victims and their families must be at the centre of a true process of justice, truth, and accountability in order to uphold their rights and lay the groundwork for a Syria that respects the dignity of its citizens.