The situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic has deteriorated significantly since 15 February 2012. Armed violence increased in intensity and spread to new areas. Active hostilities raged between Government forces (and the Shabbiha) and anti-Government armed groups. Sporadic clashes between the armed actors evolved into continuous combat, involving more brutal tactics and new military capabilities on both sides. The level of armed violence varied throughout the country.
During the reporting period, the commission of inquiry determined that the intensity and duration of the conflict, combined with the increased organizational capabilities of anti-Government armed groups, had met the legal threshold for a non-international armed conflict. The commission therefore applied both international humanitarian law and international human rights law in its assessment of the actions of the parties to the hostilities.
The commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Government forces and the Shabbiha had committed the crimes against humanity of murder and of torture, war crimes and gross violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including unlawful killing, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, sexual violence, indiscriminate attack, pillaging and destruction of property. The commission found that Government forces and Shabbiha members were responsible for the killings in Al-Houla.
The commission confirms its previous finding that violations were committed pursuant to State policy. Large-scale operations conducted in different governorates, their similar modus operandi, their complexity and integrated military-security apparatus indicate the involvement at the highest levels of the armed and security forces and the Government. The Shabbiha were identified as perpetrators of many of the crimes described in the present report. Although the nature, composition and hierarchy of the Shabbiha remains unclear, credible information led to the conclusion that they acted in concert with Government forces.
The commission found reasonable grounds to believe that war crimes, including murder, extrajudicial execution and torture, had been perpetrated by organized anti-Government armed groups. Although not a party to the Geneva Conventions, these groups must abide by the principles of international humanitarian law. The violations and abuses committed by anti-Government armed groups did not reach the gravity, frequency and scale of those committed by Government forces and the Shabbiha. Both groups violated the rights of children.
The commission is unaware of efforts meeting international standards made by either the Government or anti-Government armed groups to prevent or punish the crimes documented in the present report.
The lack of access significantly hampered the commission’s ability to fulfil its mandate. Its access to Government officials and to members of the armed and security forces was negligible. Importantly, victims and witnesses inside the country could not be interviewed in person.
A confidential list of individuals and units believed to be responsible for crimes against humanity, breaches of international humanitarian law and gross human rights violations will be submitted to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the close of the commission’s current mandate, in September 2012.
The commission reiterates that the best solution is a negotiated settlement involving an inclusive and meaningful dialogue among all parties, leading to a political transition that reflects the legitimate aspirations of all segments of Syrian society, including ethnic and religious minorities.
Den vollständigen Bericht finden Sie hier.