Norway’s Role in the Struggle against Impunity

Accountability for Torture in Syria –
Norway’s Role in the Struggle against Impunity

As part of its policy to combat impunity in Syria, the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression will participate on November 12 in a conference in Oslo, Norway, aimed at discussing the role Norway can play in international efforts to hold those responsible for crimes accountable.

Since 2011, the Syrian government and the many parties involved in the conflict have committed many horrific crimes against Syrians, from arbitrary arrests, torture and enforced disappearances to the prosecution of political opponents, journalists, civilian activists, and human rights defenders.

In order to prevent the continuation of these crimes and to activate the mechanism of accountability, many survivors and witnesses, their family members, as well as Syrian and international human rights organizations, have been documenting the crimes in order to bring those responsible to justice outside Syria, using legal means in Europe.

This process prompted many European countries in recent years, including Germany and France, to open criminal investigations to hold those accountable who have committed international crimes. Many of these investigations have resulted in the conviction of perpetrators from different parties to the conflict and the issuance of arrest warrants.

Survivors and human rights activists will discuss Norway’s role in the international efforts to hold to account those responsible for the crimes committed in Syria and to combat impunity.

Alongside survivors and human rights activists, the speakers’ list will include Almoutassim al-Kilani, Litigation Manager at the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), Michelle Jarvis, Deputy Head of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) for Syria; Anwar al-Bunni, Executive Director of the Syrian Center for Legal Research and Studies (SCLRS), Ibrahim al-Kasem, Director of the Caesar Files Group; Une Bastholm, Member of the Norwegian Parliament, The Green Party; Gunnar Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General, Norwegian Helsinki Committeé (NHC); Sofie A. E. Høgestøl, Associate Professor, University of Oslo (UiO) and Patrick Kroker, Head of Syria-Project, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR). Lotte Leicht, EU-Director, Human Rights Watch (HRW) will moderate the event.

This event is organized by Norwegian Helsinki Committeé (NHC) and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).