Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

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The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic was established on 22 August 2011 by the Human Rights Council through resolution S-17/1 adopted at its 17th special session with a mandate to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since March 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Commission was also tasked to establish the facts and circumstances that may amount to such violations and of the crimes perpetrated and, where possible, to identify those responsible with a view of ensuring that perpetrators of violations, including those that may constitute crimes against humanity, are held accountable.

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Latest news

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Temporary Agreement on Idlib a welcome provisional step
English | Arabic
21 September 2018

Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syria Arab Republic A/HRC/39/65
English | Arabic
Release date: 12 September 2018

Press release: UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Unparalleled numbers of Syrians displaced in under six months
English | Arabic
12 September 2018

Press statement on behalf of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria on the situation in Idlib
English | Arabic
12 September 2018

Webcast record of press conference
12 September 2018

Mandate

To investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since March 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic, and to establish the facts and circumstances that may amount to such violations and of the crimes perpetrated.
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Call for Submissions

Public hearings

Members

Current Commissioners:

Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro (Chairperson) (Brazil), Chair
Karen Koning AbuZayd (United States)
Hanny Megally (Egypt)

Former Commissioners:

Carla del Ponte (Switzerland)
Vitit Muntarbhorn (Thailand)
Yakin Erturk (Turkey) 

Documentation

Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syria Arab Republic A/HRC/39/65
English | Arabic
Release date: 12 September 2018

"The siege and recapture of eastern Ghouta"
20 June 2018

Conference Room Paper (A/HRC/38/CRP.3)
English

Sieges as a weapon of war: Encircle, starve, surrender, evacuate
العربية | English
29 May 2018

“I lost my dignity”: Sexual and gender-based violence in the Syrian Arab Republic
15 March 2018
Conference Room Paper (A/HRC/37/CRP.3)
العربية | English
Infographic

Detention in the Syrian Arab Republic: A Way Forward
العربية | English
8 March 2018

Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic
Release date: 6 March 2018
العربية中文EnglishFrançaisрусскийEspañol
(Annexes:  العربية | русский)
Press Release: English | العربية

Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (Advance Edited Version)
Release date: 6 September 2017
English | العربية (Annex)
Press Release: English | العربية
Chemical weapons' attacks documented by the Commission (Infographic)

Human rights abuses and international humanitarian law violations in the Syrian Arab Republic, 21 July 2016- 28 February 2017*. Conference room paper of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic - A/HRC/34/CRP.3
English only
Release date: 13 March 2017

Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic "Special inquiry into the events in Aleppo" - A/HRC/34/64
العربية中文EnglishFrançaisрусскийEspañol
UNOSAT satellite imagery - 1
UNOSAT satellite imagery - 2
Supplementary maps to A/HRC/34/64 - 1
Supplementary maps to A/HRC/34/64 - 2
Supplementary maps to A/HRC/34/64 - 3
Supplementary maps to A/HRC/34/64 - 4
Supplementary maps to A/HRC/34/64 - 5
Full press conference
Release date: 1 March 2017

Human Rights Council resolution S-25/1 adopted on 21 October 2016
The deteriorating situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the recent situation in Aleppo
العربية中文EnglishFrançaisрусскийEspañol

Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic: “They came to destroy”: ISIS Crimes Against the Yazidis
Release date: 16 June 2016
English (Advance version) | العربية
Press Release: UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: ISIS is committing genocide against the Yazidis
English | العربية | Kurdish
Full press conference
Video: English | العربية | Kurdish

All documents…

Press Releases

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Temporary Agreement on Idlib a welcome provisional step
English | Arabic
21 September 2018

Press release: UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Unparalleled numbers of Syrians displaced in under six months
English | Arabic
12 September 2018

Press statement on behalf of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria on the situation in Idlib
English | Arabic
12 September 2018

Webcast record of press conference
12 September 2018

Press Statement on presentation of oral report to the Human Rights Council
26 June 2018 

The siege and recapture of eastern Ghouta marked by war crimes, crimes against humanity
20 June 2018
English | العربية

Press statement on the alleged use of chemical weapons in eastern Ghouta - 13 April 2018

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Sexual and gender-based violence against women, girls, men, and boys a devastating and pervasive feature of the conflict and must end now - 15 March 2018

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Amid the ruins of Ar-Raqqah and Dayr al-Zawr, calls for justice and accountability by victims and families must be urgently addressed
6 March 2018

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria Condemns Upsurge in Violence in the Idlib Governorate and eastern Ghouta: Syrian Arab Republic - 6 February 2018
English | العربية

All press releases...

Statements

Statement at Human Rights Council, 39th session
English
17 September 2018

Statement at Human Rights Council, 37th session
English
13 March 2017

Statement at Human Rights Council, 36th session
English
18 September 2017

Statement at Human Rights Council, 35th session
English
14 June 2017

Syria worst man-made disaster since World War II - Zeid
English
14 March 2017

All statements… 

Feature Stories

Report: No one unaffected by sexual and gender-based violence in Syrian conflict
“It is utterly repugnant that brutal acts of sexual and gender-based violence have been perpetrated throughout Syria for over six and a half years,” said Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. He made his remarks during an event launching a report that looked into the pervasiveness of the issue in the Syrian conflict.
28 March 2018
Syria: the most dangerous place for children?
Civil society actors give the Human Rights Council information on violations of children’s rights in Syria and recommendations on how to protect rights of these children.
16 March 2018
UN human rights investigators decry targeting of civilians in Syria
“The only way to end civilian suffering is to end this war,” the Commission of Inquiry on Syria told the Human Rights Council, as the conflict rages into its seventh year.
16 June 2017
Protecting the rights of detainees in Syria
Protection of detainees and the disappeared in Syria was the focus of a recent panel discussion held during the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The discussion focused on the experiences of former detainees as well as providing some ways forward.
11 April 2017
Attacks on Syrian civilians and aid workers in Aleppo were war crimes
“The scale of what happened in Aleppo is unprecedented,” the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said, issuing its new report. The Commission found war crimes were committed by government forces and opposition groups in the brutal battle to control Aleppo.
3 March 2017
Too long a wait for peace and justice - Commission of Inquiry
The Commission of Inquiry on Syria urges parties to commit to a political solution to the conflict, and following a finding that ISIS is committing genocide in Syria, again calls upon the UN Security Council to refer the situation to international criminal justice.
1 July 2016
Out of sight, out of mind: deaths in detention in Syria
Syrian men, women, and children have been transferred to one of the dozens of official or secret Government-run detention facilities in the Syrian Arab Republic. Thousands of them have been killed while in custody.
15 February 2016
Crying Out for Justice: the Continued Plight of Syrian Civilians
The latest UN Commission of Inquiry report on the Syrian Arab Republic calls for urgent action to ensure the effective protection of civilians caught up in protracted fighting. The report, the tenth from the Commission, was presented during an interactive dialogue at the 30th session of the Human Rights Council.
22 September 2015
UN rights experts describe ‘unconscionable’ suffering of Syrians in four-year conflict
Four UN human rights experts briefed the Security Council today on a new report into human rights and humanitarian law violations in Syria, saying unthinkable crimes continue occurring daily, with victims' voices in danger of being lost amid the horrors of the conflict.
20 February 2015
Syria’s brutal war threatens international peace and security, says UN rights panel
In its latest report, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria emphasized that with the continuous influx of foreign fighters and the success of extremist groups, “risks of the conflict spreading further are palpable.”
27 August 2014
The conflict in Syria reaches a tipping point: violence at unimaginable levels
Warning of a regional war in the Middle East, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria foresees violent repercussions in Syria from events in neighbouring Iraq.
19 June 2014
Open wounds: torture and ill-treatment in Syria
A new thematic paper produced by the UN Human Rights Office on torture in Syria highlights horrific accounts from victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by Government forces and some armed opposition groups.
28 May 2014
Terrorised population in Syria deserves a political solution, states UN Commission
Syrians want a peaceful resolution to the conflict and accountability for the crimes committed in their country, the Commission of Inquiry on Syria tells the Human Rights Council.
3 April 2014
Assault on medical care: a distinct and chilling reality of the civil war in Syria
The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, in a special report to the 24th Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva has focused attention on the assault on medical care of the sick and wounded, as one of the “most alarming features of the Syrian conflict.”
8 October 2013
Commission of Inquiry on Syria: civilians bearing the brunt of the “unrelenting spiral of violence”
The Commission of Inquiry on Syria alerts the Human Rights Council on escalating levels of violence and renews its call for a diplomatic resolution of the conflict in Syria.
18 September 2012
More human rights abuses in Syria as conflict escalates - Commission of Inquiry
The Commission of Inquiry on Syria presents its report to the Human Rights Council on the events in Al-Houla, amidst fears of further militarization of the crisis and worsening human rights violations in Syria.
28 June 2012
UN Human Rights council holds a fourth special session to discuss the Syrian crisis
In a statement read on her behalf by Marcia V.J.Kran, Director at the UN Human Rights office, Pillay called for an “immediate end to all forms of violence and human rights violations by all parties.”
1 June 2012
The Human Rights Council calls on the Syrian Government to immediately end attacks on civilians
Condemning the continued widespread and systematic human rights violations in Syria, the Human Rights Council passes a resolution calling for an immediate end to all human rights violations and attacks against Syrian civilians.
1 March 2012
Syria in turmoil – the UN Human Rights Council acts again
Allegations of human rights violations arising from this year’s demonstrations in Syria are to be investigated by an international commission of inquiry acting on behalf of the Human Rights Council.
5 September 2011
Human Rights Council: Stop human rights violations in Syria
UN Human Rights Council requests Syria to stop all human rights violations, and asks the UN Human Rights office to dispatch an investigative team.
5 May 2011

More Feature stories

Miscellaneous

Video

Photos

Photos of the Commission of Inquiry activities including presentations to the Human Rights Council, press encounters and filed visits…

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