21 Jan Founding Meeting
Lamentations are not sufficient.
A human often does not find words to express their sorrow for those loved ones who have been lost, as groans suffocate, and voices fade away .At that time, one could barely express his feelings with tears, but !!! Do these tears bring us back the ones we lost those we lost back to us? Can you obtain the rights of those who died because of the dirtiest regime the modern history in the era of democracy and human rights has ever experienced?
Absolutely not… we have to work ceaselessly, and struggle in several ways to make the victims regain some of their rights even posthumously.
From this logical and objective perspective along with belief that justice is the strongest foundation for real and sustainable peace, without it violence and revenge, resulted in extremism and endless conflicts, will prevail. The Caesar Families Association was launched while bearing the desire to obtain a future for our country and for all Syrians based on justice and equality.
A group of people were gathered by one tragedy, i.e. the appearance of their families’ members within the photos of Caesar; footages leaked by the military photographer, who defected from the Syrian regime to be known later as Caesar … A person who hates injustice witnessed with his own eyes the violations committed in Assad’s prisons, so he worked with a group of his friends to document the atrocities through taking photos of victims who were killed under torture in those prisons.
These photos are ascribed to brothers, husbands, friends, fathers, loved ones and comrades of those people with the same hopes for justice. Thus, they established a non-profit organization called (Caesar Families Association ) on 7th July, 2018.
The beginning was when several preparatory meetings were held between families and civil society institutions with the support of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) and the Violations Documentation Centre(VDC).
The first meeting was held following the coordination between the families and SCM in Berlin, February 2018, and representatives of the international organizations including:
- The Impartial and Independent International Mechanism (IIIM).
- The International Committee for Missing People (ICMP).
- The European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).
- International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).
- Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF).
Through the consultations with these families, they have set their sights on the following goals which, as they believe, would pave the way to make Syria a secure and stable country:
- Work to retrieve the remains of the victims’ bodies in order to ensure burials that respect human dignity and families’ rituals.
- Secure psychological and legal support to the families of victims and help them overcome the repercussions of these crimes.
- Guarantee the rights of victims and their families, memorialize the victims, and restore their dignity.
- Contribute to the release of detainees, the forcefully disappeared, the kidnapped, and pressure for the disclosure of the whereabouts of the missing.
- Work to end impunity and strive for the establishment of a special court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
- Support a transitional justice process based on fairness and accountability.
The founding members of the association called on all victims of torture in Syria and their families to stand by them to complete the path they took towards justice, and to offer mutual assistance.
They also called on all concerned parties , human rights defenders, and media representatives to take the concerns of victims and their families as a priority, and to contribute, with all methods of support, to stress that the association will not quit knocking all doors of justice throughout the world at any time unless the desired goals are achieved.