Caesar Families Association statement addressed to the fourth Brussels Conference

The European Union and the United Nations co-held the fourth Brussels Donors International Conference online supporting the future of Syria, Syrian refugees, and displaced persons.

The conference drew the world’s attention to the 9 years long Syrian crisis which had exacerbated after the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic. Participants representing their countries and several local and international organizations came together to ensure continuous financial support to Syrian refugees and hosting communities. As an outcome, $7 US billion was pledged to refugees. The necessity of providing Syrians with humanitarian needs and working on a permanent all-encompassing ceasefire to allow for an inclusive political resolution, was also stressed.

Mrs. Yasmen Almashan, Caesar Families Association’s internal coordination officer addressed the conference:

“I am a Syrian refugee who came to Germany after losing five of my siblings, one of them is Oqba, whose photos were amongst the leaked Caesar photos of torture victims in the Syrian government’s prisons. I lost the other four while waiting to hear of Oqba. Another brother of mine was killed by ISIS too. When a loved one is lost; their absence turns into an obsession regardless of who killed them and where they have been taken. When loved ones are lost; justice becomes your goal.”

Mrs. Almashan continued; “I coordinate with my colleagues in other associations of victims of war crimes. Associations working for the missings, forcibly disappeared, detainees, survivors or families of victims still struggling to know the fate of their loved ones. We are dedicated to achieving accountability in Syria despite the multiple obstacles.”

“Thousands of detainees in the Syrian government and other conflict parties’ prisons are still suffering the indescribable. Till this day, thousands of families are still waiting to hear of their loved ones. As detainees suffer in these prisons, we are enduring ambiguity of their fates too. Our hopes are diminishing that we are left to wish for at least a grave to visit.”

“As Victims Associations, we have a purpose to achieve justice that will be the foundation of peace in Syria bringing justice to the victims and their families, and achieving a sustainable solution. Justice that institutes revenge and political victories is not our aim.”

She concluded the speech with; “In order for us to pursue our work in attaining victims’ rights, in an attempt to achieve a transitional justice that builds sustainable peace in Syria, we call for participants of the Brussels Conference to support all investigation mechanisms, litigation against perpetrators in Syria, victims, and survivors and their families.”