July 3, 2012

Recommendations

To the UN Security Council

  • Demand that Syria grant recognized international detention monitors access to all detention facilities, official and unofficial, without prior notification, including those mentioned in this report;
  • Ensure that the UN supervisory mission (UNSMIS ) deployed to Syria includes a properly staffed and equipped human rights component with staff with expertise in detention monitoring that is able to identify the use of arbitrary detention, visit detention centers, and to safely and independently interview victims of human rights abuses while protecting them from retaliation. The mission should include among its personnel people trained to identify gender-based violence and other gender-specific human rights violations and personnel trained to work with children;
  • Demand that Syria enforce its commitment under point 4 of the Annan plan by releasing all arbitrarily detained persons, “including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities,” and provide without delay “a list of all places in which such persons are being detained”;
  • Refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC);
  • Adopt targeted sanctions on officials credibly implicated in abuses;
  • Require states to suspend all military sales and assistance, including technical training and services, to the Syrian government, given the real risk that the weapons and technology will be used in the commission of serious human rights violations;
  • Demand that Syria cooperate fully with the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry and with the UNSMIS;
  • Demand access for humanitarian missions, foreign journalists, and independent human rights organizations.

To All Countries

  • Acting individually, or jointly through regional mechanisms where appropriate, adopt targeted sanctions against Syrian officials credibly implicated in the ongoing serious violations of international human rights law;
  • Under the principle of universal jurisdiction and in accordance with national laws, investigate and prosecute members of the Syrian senior military and civilian leadership suspected of committing international crimes;
  • Call for the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the ICC, as the forum most capable of effectively investigating and prosecuting those bearing the greatest responsibility for abuses in Syria.

To the Arab League

  • Acting individually and jointly, maintain and strengthen targeted sanctions against Syrian officials credibly implicated in the ongoing grave, widespread, and systematic violations of international human rights law in Syria since mid-March 2011;
  • Support a strong UNSMIS human rights component (as described in the recommendations above);
  • Call for the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the ICC.

To Russia and China

  • Support UN Security Council action on Syria (as described in the recommendations above), including referring the situation to the ICC;
  • Suspend all military sales and assistance to the Syrian government, given the real risk that weapons and technology will be used in the commission of serious human rights violations;
  • Condemn in the strongest terms the Syrian authorities’ systematic violations of human rights;

To the Syrian Government

  • Release all arbitrarily detained persons, “including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities,” and provide without delay “a list of all places in which such persons are being detained” in accordance with point 4 of the Annan plan.
  • Immediately halt the practice of enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrest and detention, and the use of torture;
  • Conduct prompt, thorough, and objective investigations into allegations of arbitrary detention, use of torture, enforced disappearances, and deaths in custody, including the ones described in this report, and bring the perpetrators to justice;
  • Suspend members of the security forces against whom there are credible allegations of human rights abuses, pending investigations;
  • Annul Legislative Decree No. 14, of January 15, 1969, and Legislative Decree 69, which provide immunity to members of the security forces by requiring a decree from the General Command of the Army and Armed Forces to prosecute any member of the internal security forces, Political Security, and customs police;
  • Publish lists of all detainees;
  • Provide immediate and unhindered access for recognized international detention monitors to all detention facilities, official and unofficial, without prior notification, including those mentioned in this report;
  • Provide all UNSMIS staff with the necessary permissions, including visas to Syria or use of UN air assets, to carry out their mandate;
  • Provide immediate and unhindered access and cooperation to independent observers, journalists, and human rights monitors, including the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry on Syria; and the special rapporteur on Syria.