Gathering Syrian war crimes evidence

09 March 2017 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)
A Syrian refugee walks among severely damaged buildings in downtown Homs, Syria, on June 3, 2014. (Photo: Flickr/Xinhua/Pan Chaoyue)
Image caption: 
A Syrian refugee walks among severely damaged buildings in downtown Homs, Syria, on June 3, 2014. (Photo: Flickr/Xinhua/Pan Chaoyue)

International law experts, officials and NGO’s met in The Hague Thursday to help set up an new United Nations body to gather evidence of war crimes in Syria to ensure possible prosecution at a later date. 

The new body called the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) for Syria is “to serve as a hub for gathering evidence for all crimes in Syria”, said Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders who hosted the meeting of over 150 professionals.

There are already many different NGO’s who are gathering evidence about Syrian crimes on all sides encompassing millions of pages and gigabytes of evidence [IJT-169 and interview]. Instead of doubling the work already done the U.N. mechanism aims to “collect and preserve all the available evidence in one place” and set standards for how the proof is collected and stored so there can be “swift prosecutions once the time is right”.

Helping set standards for evidence gathering

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