Support Monitoring of Syrian War Crimes Trial

by SJAC
Support Monitoring of Syrian War Crimes Trial
Support Monitoring of Syrian War Crimes Trial
Support Monitoring of Syrian War Crimes Trial
Support Monitoring of Syrian War Crimes Trial
Support Monitoring of Syrian War Crimes Trial
Support Monitoring of Syrian War Crimes Trial
Support Monitoring of Syrian War Crimes Trial
Support Monitoring of Syrian War Crimes Trial

Thanks to your ongoing support of SJAC’s “Support Monitoring of Syrian War Crimes Trial” campaign, we have successfully completed another quarter of trial reporting. As the trial of Anwar Raslan nears its end, we have secured sufficient funding to translate all remaining reports and have made the decision to draw this fundraiser to a close and begin work on a new campaign to train and support human rights activists in Syria. Our team of trial monitors, reviewers, and translators all benefited from your support, and were encouraged to know that people around the world are dedicated to the important work of monitoring this trial and disseminating information to the Syrian people.

To date, we have published 14 trial reports in Arabic, and Arabic summaries of an additional 34 English language reports. Thanks to the support of generous donors, we will complete the translation of all remaining trial reports over the coming months. These reports currently represent over 1,100 pages of testimony and will serve as record of this monumental trial for decades to come.

Over the course of this trial, our trial reports have helped reveal the true extent of crimes against humanity that were committed at the Al-Khatib detention facility. So far, 53 people have provided testimony at the trial, with many more waiting to tell their own personal story of how their rights, and the rights of their loved ones, were violated at the hands of Syrian government officials.

One of the most recent and poignant testimonies came from P50, a Syrian doctor who both treated detainees and became a detainee himself. Despite experiencing severe beatings as part of his time at Al-Khatib, he said the mental trauma of the experience far outweighed the physical trauma he experienced. As a doctor treating former detainees, he has seen their physical wounds heal, but describes how many suffer from long-term psychological issues, including violent outbursts and in some cases even suicide. Other testimony such as from P47 describes the terrible conditions detainees experienced while at Al-Khatib. His testimony recounts the often described “welcome party” where detainees are forced to walk through a line of guards who beat them with rifle butts while denouncing them as traitors.

Your support has ensured these stories are known. Because of restriction under German law, these experiences would have gone unheard were it not for independent trial monitoring.

Thank you again for your continued dedication to this work.

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Illustration of Anwar Raslan (Credit: Rachel Ma)
Illustration of Anwar Raslan (Credit: Rachel Ma)

Thank you for your generous support of SJAC’s “Support Monitoring of Syrian War Crimes Trial” campaign through GlobalGiving. Our project is documenting the very first trial of Syrian government officials and ensuring that survivors and future generations have access to this account of the conflict.

Your generous support has so far helped us to attend every day of the trial since it began, publishing 40 trial monitoring reports in English and 16 reports in Arabic. German Courts do not provide public reporting of cases unless deemed of great historical importance, which is why trial reporting is so vital. SJAC is one of the few entities reporting on this case, and your support of this project has helped boost international attention for war crimes committed in Syria.

The diversity of voices that have emerged in the trial are a testament to the desire for Syrians to seek accountability. SJAC’s trial reports are a record of these experiences. Testimony comes from Syrians of all background, including individuals like Fayez Sarah, an opposition leader and politician since the 1970s, who claimed he was interrogated by Anwar Raslan after being arrested for criticizing the government and participating in demonstrations during the early days of the uprising.

Other witnesses who came forward gave accounts of being detained and interrogated for even minor mistakes. P29 was a Syrian who was arrested for presenting a damaged ID card at a checkpoint, an issue that became problematic when a prominent religious leader instructed opposition supporters to beak their government IDs. In transit to the Al-Khatib detention center, the P29 was beaten, burned with cigarettes, and abused by the guards. In his testimony, he described being tortured, interrogated, and taken to a holding area that was so crowded he could not sit for 5 days until a space opened.

Without trial reporting, these stories and experiences from the conflict would go unheard. More than just a record of the case against Anwar Raslan, these reports create an account for future generations of Syrians to look back and learn about this challenging time in their history.     

Thank you again for helping promote justice for Syria.

 

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Media outside of the court for Al-Gharib's verdict
Media outside of the court for Al-Gharib's verdict

Thank you for your generous support of SJAC’s “Support Monitoring of Syrian War Crimes Trial” campaign through GlobalGiving. This project aims to ensure broad access to a historical record of the trial of Anwar Raslan and Eyad Al-Gharib in Koblenz, Germany. SJAC’s trial monitors have attended every day of the trial and produced both Arabic and English reporting and analysis to inform the Syrian community of progress in the trial and avenues of justice.

To date, SJAC has published 24 trial monitoring reports in English and 16 reports in Arabic. Unfortunately, the cost of Arabic-language translation has exceeded present means and we have been forced to delay the translation of our full trial reports. We are appreciative of your support in making the current level of translation possible, and we have continued to publish summaries in Arabic. We hope to publish the full Arabic versions of all our reports as we receive further donations.

In February, the trials of Raslan and Al-Gharib were severed and Al-Gharib was sentenced to 4.5 years imprisonment for aiding and abetting torture and severe deprivation of liberty as crimes against humanity. This is the first verdict against a former employee of the Syrian government. While many celebrated the verdict, Syrians had mixed reactions to a verdict based mainly on Al-Gharib’s own testimony. SJAC has provided detailed analysis and lessons learned from the sentencing. Thanks to your generosity, SJAC was able to publish this verdict in both English and Arabic.

As part of “the bright new wave of trial monitoring activities,” SJAC’s trial reports continue to provide important information for Syrians following the trial and for the justice community. Our sincerest thanks for your contribution to this project. Keep up to date with our latest reports on our website.

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Thank you for your generous support of SJAC’s “Support Monitoring of Syrian War Crimes Trial” campaign through GlobalGiving. This project aims to create a historical record of the trial of Anwar Raslan and Eyad Al-Gharib in Koblenz, Germany. Through reports and analysis of the trial, SJAC is working to brief Syrian communities of this first-of-a-kind trial, as well as inform them of their avenues to pursue justice.

To date, SJAC has published twelve trial reports and an Arabic-English glossary of German legal terminology. SJAC has had a trial monitor present in the courtroom every single day of the trial. Our two trial monitors take detailed notes and turn them into reports with analysis and insights into the trial and court decisions. Each report is translated and published in both Arabic and English to ensure both Syrian and international audiences have access to reliable, accurate details of the trial. The reports have become an important source of information for justice actors, Syrian survivors, and journalists. Your generosity enables us to continue providing detailed reports and connecting those who are most affected by the crimes – Syrians – with justice processes and mechanisms.

Our sincerest thanks for your support on this project. Keep up to date with our latest reports on our website.

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Organization Information

SJAC

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SJAC_info
Project Leader:
Michael Ader
Washington, DC United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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