Gulf European Centre for Human Rights
Human Rights situation in Syria and the role of Iran
13th March 2019
Human Rights in Syria
The human rights tragic in Syria has been continuing since the outbreak of the revolution in March 2011, so that international organisations are trying every effort to take human rights measures in this regard. However, the political interference of some countries and groups is hampering the Syrian human rights case where the Syrian authorities and some armed groups committed crimes against humanity in Syria, particularly against innocent civilians.
According to UN reports, the human rights situation in Syria has significantly deteriorated since the outbreak of the revolution. However, since 15 February 2012, the human rights situation has reached a suspicious situation, with the intensification of armed violence. The authorities in Syria have systematically carried out enforced disappearance and systematic killings against Syrian citizens under the pretext of combating the armed groups.
The international organisations also reported that government forces have committed crimes against humanity; such as murder, torture and arbitrary arrests, as well as unlawful killings, violence, indiscriminate attacks, looting and destruction of property, which are a gross violation of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. The international organisations added that these policies have caused mass displacement of Syrian citizens from their areas by the Syrian authorities, Iranian Shiite militias and some armed groups such as the Kurdish fighters as well as the ISIS and al-Nusra front.
Furthermore, international human rights organisations have confirmed that crimes are committing in Syria are war crimes, including murder, extrajudicial executions and torture committed by organised armed groups linked with the government.
According to Human Rights Watch’s report, more than 400,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict in 2011, but Syrian human rights organisations stated that the number of dead people is more than this figure. Human Rights Watch also reported on the number of Syrian civilians who killed by the authorities, as well as 5 million asylum seekers and more than 6 million displaced people, according to UN agencies. The United Nations estimates that there are 540,000 people still living in areas besieged by the Syrian authorities and Shiite militias and other Iranian forces.
The Syrian government has launched multiple attacks, including chemical weapons attacks against civilians in several areas of Syria. With the support of Iran, it launched deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians, destroying infrastructure in the besieged cities of Syria, blocking humanitarian aid, forcing the Syrians to leave the country and the Syrian government continuing to torture detainees which is violation of international law.
Arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, torture and enforced disappearance remain widespread in Syria. In 2017, the Syrian Human Rights Network documented over 4,252 cases of arbitrary detention, most of them by government forces. As of August 2017, more than 80,000 people remained disappeared, according to the Syrian Human Rights Network. However, other human rights organisations in Syria believe that the number of disappeared people in Syria reached 250,000 people.
International organisations have confirmed that Iran's role in Syria is violated international humanitarian law by supporting armed militias and sending forces of the Revolutionary Guards to fight opponents of the Syrian authorities, causing the assassination of a large number of civilians.
Iran has played a dangerous role in supporting the Syrian regime by providing long-term support to bring Shiite militias from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to mobilise them in Syria to fight the opposition factions, which resulted in the assassination, disappearance and arrest of a large number of Syrian citizens and the destruction of property of citizens such as houses, agricultural land and livestock by Iranian militias such as Hezbollah, the Fatimion and Zeinabion and all Iraqi militias and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Since the first day of the Syrian crisis in March 2011, Iran has provided various military support to the Syrian regime. Iran since March 2011 began to send military advisers to Syria, but in 2012 without announcement, Iran directly intervened in Syria by sending Revolutionary Guards, Iraqi and Lebanese Shiite militia groups. However, the announcement of participation of Iranian forces and foreign militias was in 2013, which these forces began to commit crimes against humanity in Syria, which this intervention is a war crimes and violation of international law.
According to Syrian human rights reports, the Iranian militias have made Syrian citizens to suffer from starvation, as well ass destroying Syrian property in several cities and villages. Arbitrary arrests and forced abductions have displaced tens of thousands of Syrian citizens because of the role of Iranian militias against innocent Syrians. These crimes violate international law and constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. Hence, it needs international intervention to stop Iran's crimes in Syria.
The ongoing crimes in Syria by the Syrian regime and Iran caused a number of Syrian human rights organisations to run human rights conference, which a number of non-Syrian organisations, including the Gulf European Centre for Human Rights and others organisations to participate in the conference with the aim of presenting several proposals and recommendations to solve the Syrian crisis and punish those who violated human rights against Syrian citizens.
Therefore, the Gulf European Centre for Human Rights through the Secretary General Faisal Fulad participated in the conference for Syrian organisations on March 13, entitled “Violations of human rights in Syria”. The conference was held at the Swiss Press Club in Geneva in conjunction with the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Faisal Fulad also presented a paper on the Iranian regime's financing of terrorism, supporting armed groups and committing crimes against humanity in Syria and the rest of the Middle East, such as Yemen, Bahrain and Lebanon through Hezbollah, Iraq through several Militias, as well crimes committed in Al-Ahwaz, along with a number of other peoples, including the Baloch, and others non-Persian in Iran.
The recommendations focus on the cease-fire, the release of all detainees, the cessation of torture and systematic killings and the return of forcibly displaced people by the regime, the Iranian militias and the rest of the armed forces. It was also recommended to punish the Iranian and Syrian leaders and all other parties who participated in crimes against humanity in Syria, particularly against Syrian civilians.