Netherlands and Canada initiate joint effort to hold Syria accountable for human rights violations
Ten years after the start of the conflict in Syria, the regime has announced that it wishes to enter into talks with the Netherlands about the liability for gross human rights violations. In addition, Canada has announced that it will also hold Syria liable. Now both countries want to work together to get justice for victims of the Syrian civil war. This was announced in an official statement by the government.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs believes it is important that such a step is taken. "This is a bright spot in a dark and long tunnel. The Syrians who have been at war for nearly 10 years still deserve justice. "
Peaceful protests against the Assad regime began in Syria on 15 March 2011 during the Arab Spring. These protests were soon brutally crushed by the authorities. Ten years later, gross human rights violations in Syria are still the order of the day. The Assad regime has been reprimanded internationally for committing torture, murder and poison gas attacks. More than 11 million Syrians have fled and often lost everything.
The Netherlands welcomes the decision of Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau to also hold Syria liable. Minister Blok said that "by joining forces, we are stronger. These are hopeful and important steps in our path to justice and ending impunity. "
Now that Syria has announced its intention to enter into talks about the liability claim, details of how, where and when of the talks will take place can be worked out. The Netherlands wants to tackle this together with Canada. The commitment of both countries will be to end daily crimes that continue to take place, bring justice to the Syrian victims of the most serious human rights violations and hold the perpetrators to account. If the talks do not lead to justice for the victims, the Netherlands and Canada will not hesitate to go to an international judge.
UN Human Rights Council speech
Minister Blok will address the Human Rights Council digitally on Monday, 15 March, during a special session on the conflict in Syria.