President of (CFA), Mrs. (Maryam Hallaq), participated in the twenty-fourth forum of the European Union and non-governmental organizations on human rights, which was held on December 14 and 15, 2022 in Brussels / Belgium.
Organized by the European Commission in partnership with the European External Action Service, the Human Rights and Democracy Network focuses on combating impunity and strengthening accountability and justice mechanisms.
The conference included a discussion session introducing the Caesar Families Association, its objectives, and the Secretary-General’s recommendation on establishing an institution concerned with revealing the fate of missing persons in Syria.
Mrs. (Maryam)’s speech focused on the main contextual factors of the struggle against the exemption from punishment in Syria.
During the 2011 revolution in Syria and the war that followed, we lost many children and loved ones, either through extrajudicial killing, arrest, or enforced disappearance.
The number of forcibly disappeared persons in Syria reaches more than 100,000 detainees, most of whom disappeared at the hands of the Syrian regime, and let us not forget that other parties to the conflict also committed these crimes.
Al-Hallaq touched on how the (Caesar Families Association) was formed and then cooperated with many other associations of families of victims and survivors, setting out its vision of justice in Syria and resolving the issue of detainees and forcibly disappeared persons. It worked on a joint document called (The Truth and Justice Charter) in which it clarified the victims’ vision of justice that Divided into: close-range justice and long-range justice.
The first step for near-term justice is to demand disclosure of the fate of the forcibly disappeared, the locations of mass graves, and the approaches used by the victims in their struggle against impunity.
The successes and failures. We, as families of victims and survivors, are aware of the importance of our role in achieving our demands and achieving the desired justice. The victims, survivors and their families have a major role in providing the courts held in some European countries. Their presence as witnesses to the crimes of the regime and other factions is what enriched these trials with information about the crimes committed. And had it not been for their efforts, the universal jurisdiction would not have been activated and the transition from written articles to cases in which criminals would be prosecuted.
What are the most important needs of the victims and what does the European Union offer to support them?
A. Providing support and facilitating the effective participation of victims and survivors’ associations in justice and accountability processes and everything related to missing persons and detainees.
B. Activating universal jurisdiction in all European Union countries to hold the largest number of criminals accountable.