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The Netherlands announced on Sept. 18 that it had notified Syria of its intention to hold that government accountable for torture under the United Nations Convention against Torture. The Syrian government responded by saying the Netherlands…
201808europe_internationaljustice_un_icj
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Countries Should Look Beyond UN Security Council to Get Aid to Syrians

The UN Security Council’s move last week to confine official, cross-border humanitarian aid to northern Syria to a single crossing on the Turkish border is the final nail in the coffin of the UN’s 6-year-old aid mechanism. It’s also another example of…
Women walk in a neighborhood heavily damaged by airstrikes in Idlib, Syria, March 12, 2020.
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South Africa will soon have a chance to use its UN Security Council seat to show that when it comes to Syria, it is fulfilling Nelson Mandela’s hope that “human rights will be the light that guides our foreign policy.” Sadly, South Africa’s voting…
News
  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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Do you remember the last time you sat with your partner in the early cool evening air, recovering from a long day’s work and smiling as you watched your children play? A Syrian man, Khalid al-Satuf, does – and he will never forget it.…
From left to right: Maria (10), Ahmad (2½), Aya (6), and Rama (8) with their father, Khalid al-Satuf. © 2019 Khalid al-Satuf
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There is a reason why autocrats aggressively seek to host mega sporting events. They offer publicity and a veneer of respectability — two things Russia is desperately in the market for. In less than a hundred days, Russia will host the FIFA …
A general view shows Volgograd Arena, the stadium under construction which will host matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, in the city of Volgograd, Russia February 2, 2018.
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As members of the UN Security Council debate this week about whether to renew their Syria chemical weapons investigation, they might want to read Wilfred Owen’s World War One poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est.” It describes an attack in which a man…
A poison hazard danger sign is seen in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province, Syria on April 5, 2017.
News
Displaced Syrians are trapped as never before. The Rukban camp, a desolate encampment on Jordan’s remote northeastern border known as “the berm,” is a microcosm of Syria’s stranded civilians. They face an immediate threat as the Syrian government…
Satellite image of the Rukban Syrian refugee encampment at the Jordanian berm on Jordan-Syria border, June 24, 2016.
News
‘They will kill us all,” “Ahmad,” a Syrian aid worker, told me last month, referring to the many armed parties to the Syrian conflict. We were talking about Idlib, a province in northwest Syria that is home to around 2…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
News
Armed conflicts that have given rise to horrific war crimes in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and South Sudan are all beyond the reach of the ‘court of last resort,’ the International Criminal Court (ICC). But domestic courts in Europe are stepping into the void and…
Former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon
News
Just as the Berlin Wall was the iconic symbol of the Cold War era, so the emblematic symbol of President Donald Trump’s administration, if he has his way, could well be the Mexican wall. It represents a simplistic, concrete solution to…
An internally displaced Syrian girl who fled from Aleppo carries a red jacket in the village of Batabo, Syria on February 14, 2016.
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Recent statements by leaders and governments in the United States, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan indicate an interest in creating so-called safe zones in Syria. While no detailed plans for creating and managing such…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
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Refugee Crisis and Universal Jurisdiction Cases in Europe

What’s the basis for European courts to try atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq? What is universal jurisdiction? Does universal jurisdiction mean that every country can investigate any grave international crime committed in Syria and Iraq? What…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
News

Refugees Assist Investigations in France, Germany and Sweden

As Bashar al-Assad’s forces ramped up their bombing campaign on rebel-held territory over the past year, his government may not have realized that they were cracking its shield against accountability for crimes committed in the Syrian conflict since 2011…
Shelters burning in Iqdah displaced persons camp near the closed Turkish border north of Aleppo after ISIS took over the camp on April 14.
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“Unimaginable Horrors”

The “unimaginable horrors” that the Islamic State (ISIS) is committing against the minority Yezidis, documented in a report released on June 16 by the UN-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Syrian Arab Republic, shows the…
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During his late April visit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Turkey, European Council President Donald Tusk lavished praise on his hosts, saying, “Turkey is the best example for the whole world on how we should treat refugees.” Turkey,…
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Amid an influx of Iraqis and Syrians into Europe, the West is neglecting another group of refugees also in desperate need of help.

TOVARNIK, Croatia — Rajab Ali, a 16-year-old Hazara boy from Afghanistan’s Bamyan province, was silently weeping when we found him standing at the last remaining opening in the 12-foot-high razor-wire border fence Hungary has constructed on its…
Afghan Refugees
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July 17, International Justice Day, is a reminder both of how difficult it is to bring the people responsible for the world’s worst crimes to justice and of how crucially important it is not to give up. Over the past two decades, trials for…
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