A Historic Judgment and a New Front in the Global Struggle for Human Rights

What shocked him, however, was that the authors were not concerned with how such documents could be used against them. “You would expect them to try to hide things,” he said. “But no, they still sign their name, rank and in their own handwriting. They believe 100% that they can write what they want and behave the way they want. ”

The brutality of the Syrian regime was infamous long before 2011. In the early years of the war on terror, the US government and others relied on it, using “extraordinary conditions” to appoint elections. individuals traveling to Syria to carry out interrogations using torture methods that the CIA does not allow itself. When the United States arrested and released a German citizen of Syrian origin who was known to be the September 11 hijacking in Hamburg, the German government coordinated with the Syrian authorities to allow German investigators to question the citizen. theirs in Syria. But for decades, the Syrian regime has used torture and coercive disappearances – capturing, detaining or kidnapping a person, as well as refusing to acknowledge that person’s fate – primarily to terrorize people. the Syrian people, effectively preventing generations from ever challenging their rule. . (Today, about 100,000 people disappear still unaccounted for.)

The agent of this terrorist incident is mukhabarat – their name is derived from the verb khabbara: to announce or announce – and it’s been so long that for many Syrians it’s always been this way. Through the mukhabarat arrived in Syria under Gamal Abdel Nasser when Syria and Egypt briefly merged into the United Arab Republic in 1958, their ranks and activities expanded under Hafez al-Assad, who came to power in 1970 with a coup d’etat. The mukhabarat was a much less refined version of the Stasi, who at various times in history trained the Syrians in methods. (During the Cold War, Syria was primarily aligned with the Soviet Union.) Since 1962, these security agencies have operated to the extent of the law, protected by a partially justified emergency decree. based on external threats, allowing them to gather intelligence and suspend. civil liberties and rights. When the Arab Spring looked as if it could disrupt the status quo, the regime sent mukhabarat. In blaming a foreign plot for the 2011 mass uprising, the regime also said that its security apparatus was markedly ineffective in pre-processing, let alone containing. contain the “external threats” they claim. raison d’êtreand the Syrians have sacrificed decades of rights.

Mukhabarat violence is often strangely invisible, if ever present. Instead of taking over buildings in remote parts of town, mukhabarat Branches have long been located in residential areas – there are at least 20 branches in Damascus alone – for Syrians to pass through as they go about their daily lives. Their presence, and the awareness of the unspeakable things being committed within, has kept the Syrians proactively threatened and queued. So when the European Union states announced that Syrian refugees should be sent back because in the areas controlled by the country’s regime, the war has stopped and so it must be safe, Opponents of such a policy believe that proponents are revealing a profound (and possibly intentional) misinterpretation of the situation.

The Syrians have never been able to challenge the Assad regime’s human rights abuses in their country. But they also have virtually no legitimate interest against the Syrian state in any international legal forum. The most appropriate such forum, the International Criminal Court, remains inaccessible to the Syrians. Established to investigate and prosecute four core international crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression – in situations where states “cannot” or ” unwilling” to do so, the ICC has jurisdiction only over countries subject to the 1998 Rome Statute that created it. (Along with Syria, external parties include the United States, Russia, Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China.) In addition, the United Nations Security Council can recommend countries participating in the ICC, but Security Council members Russia and China vetoed the introduction of the Syrian regime in May 2014. Special courts, like those established for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, also requested Security Council support.

For Syrians seeking to pursue legal remedies against those who have violated their rights, what remains are national courts in countries that recognize common jurisdiction. That jurisdiction permits the prosecution of those core international crimes regardless of where they are committed, and regardless of the location or nationality of the defendant or the plaintiff involved. The basic idea is that these crimes affect the entire international community. Common jurisdiction is enshrined in the laws of many EU countries, where more than a million displaced Syrians have sought refuge over the past decade. This includes Germany, which makes up almost 60% of Syrians in the European Union.

While Syria is far from Germany, thousands of potential witnesses and victims – and certainly perpetrators – have now come together to find Germany. Among them are key Syrian lawyers and human rights activists who have wasted no time – even in the pain and discontent of displacement and exile – to try to stop the offences. in Syria, as well as seeking some justice for the victims and accountability for the perpetrators. They found well-intentioned partners in German civil society and the German federal prosecutor general’s office, which handles cases involving international war crimes.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/25/magazine/germany-trial-syria.html A Historic Judgment and a New Front in the Global Struggle for Human Rights

Fry Electronics Team

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