The 50th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
13 June to 8 July 2022
Statement of Association Ma’onah for Human Rights and Immigration and
Geneva International Centre for Justice
Item 6 : Universal Periodic Review - Adoption of the Syrian Arab Republic’s review
30 June 2022
By Farah Caïdi
Thank you President,
Ma’onah and Geneva International Centre for Justice thank the working group for their report.
Although we carefully reviewed the national report made by the Syrian Arab Republic , and we acknowledge the answer provided to the previous recommendations about judicial safeguards and fair trial, we just can’t ignore the gap between the government’s claim and the reality.
The national report asserts that the protection of Human Rights, including access to justice, is effectively guaranteed based on the Constitution and the Criminal Law. Unfortunately, the independent judicial system is still compromised by the blatant culture of impunity denounced by thousands of Syrians as being the prevailing norm, at all levels of society.
Along with an effective judicial system, we urge the state under review to effectively implement the recommendations constantly reiterated since the previous UPR. These, addressed the different legal shortcomings, especially regarding women, children and vulnerable persons. Although we welcome the first steps taken to empower them, such as the review of the article banning “honor crimes”, and the current review of the Personal Status Act, we call for the government to ensure an independent judicial system and reparation for victims, as recommended.
In addition, with 88 court cases reported in 2019 prosecuting enforced disappearances perpetrators, we are far from accountability for the 100 000 still missing. Which is why, we strongly support the call of Member States for the creation of an international mechanism to coordinate the claims regarding missing persons and the adoption of the convention on enforced disappearances.
Ma’onah and GICJ would like to remind the Syrian government that the only way to ensure the security of its people, especially the most vulnerable ones, is to guarantee them a fair and independent judicial system, with a proper body of law. Until then, no sustainable peace can be reached.