Ahmad* was 15 years old when he was arrested and detained by the Syrian government in 2014 for filming demonstrations, his name listed in SJAC's collection of government documents from Syria's security sector. Stories of arbitrary detention have become common in Syria. While we may not know Ahmad's fate, there are many legal cases of Syrian victims seeking justice. To date, SJAC has 20,000 high-priority documents from the Syrian security sector awaiting analysis, which contain valuable evidence.
Since 2011, Syrians have been victims of human rights violations largely committed by the Syrian government. All too often, victims and their families lose hope of ever achieving justice. The evidence that could support formal prosecutions remains within the very system that created the conditions of oppression and injustice. The 20,000 government documents SJAC obtained must be analyzed in a timely manner in order to remain relevant and useful in keeping hope for justice and resolution alive.
Funding SJAC's well-trained Data Analysts to take on this project of analyzing 20,000 documents will allow the analysis to happen quickly, smoothly, and effectively. This analysis will inform SJAC's research projects, support advocacy efforts, and be shared with justice mechanisms such as the UN International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM). SJAC has shared past findings with justice mechanisms in the UN, EU war crimes units, and with relevant departments within the US government.
This documentation is what the Associated Press calls "some of the most damning evidence of state involvement" in the violence against civilians. The data resulting from this analysis will allow SJAC to provide evidence to the United Nations and national prosecutors to bring credible cases against the perpetrators of human rights violations. For the victims and their families, this is a first, necessary, step on the way to a peaceful future for Syrians.