Families of Victims of the Syrian Revolution Hold Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey
On February 8 – 9, 2014 a large number of family members of the victims of the Syrian revolution met in Istanbul, Turkey at the invitation of the Syrian Commission for Transitional Justice and the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Victims of the Syrian Revolution (ADVR). Faiz Al-Dahir, Minister of Justice of the Syrian Interim Government, attended as a representative of Prime Minister Ahmed Touma. The goal of the meeting was to finalize the establishment of ADVR.
ADVR seeks to be the voice of the victims of the revolution, who demand justice and equality, and to be a voice in support of accountability during and after the ongoing peace negotiations in Geneva. ADVR says to Syrians and to the world that it will not be easy to forgive and forget past transgressions. It is absolutely necessary for criminals to be held accountability and for victims to receive reparation and play an important role in future post-conflict political processes.
Special by-laws and an association action plan were approved at the meeting. The ADVR also held elections for its president and board of trustees.
Judge Iman Shahoud, whose two brothers were killed under torture in Syrian government prisons, was elected president of ADVR. Activist Hanan al-Balky, whose brother was killed by shelling, was elected vice president. Rasha Jomaa, whose three brothers were killed under torture in Homs, was elected as secretary of the association, while Zaher Shehab was elected as Secretary General of ADVR. Zaher Shehab lost seven of his family members due to indiscriminate shelling conducted by the Assad regime on his hometown of Darayya.
The Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Victims of the Syrian Revolution will work in the future to hold a conference including the largest possible number of families of the victims of the Syrian revolution in order to support the voice of justice and accountability in the post-conflict transition in Syria.
For additional information on the Syrian Commission for Transitional Justice, please contact email@example.com
For additional information on the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Victims of the Syrian Revolution, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.