Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Syria
As Delivered by Jesse Lynch
Delegation of the United States of America
Human Rights Council – 49th Session
March 18, 2022
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. We thank the Commissioners and strongly support the COI’s mandate renewal. The COI has been invaluable to the delivery of justice as demonstrated by recent convictions in Germany.
We applaud Syrian human rights defenders who despite egregious abuses continue to bravely advocate for democracy and human rights.
The violations and abuses committed by all perpetrators – particularly the regime’s acts of torture, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary killings – affect every Syrian family.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights has reported that approximately 150,000 Syrians are still under arbitrary detention or enforced disappearance. The vast majority are held by the regime.
As the Commissioners have stressed, the regime’s pattern of violations and abuses – some of which amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes – make it impossible for refugees and other displaced Syrians to return home.
We underscore the need for an inclusive political resolution that includes the release of arbitrarily detained Syrians.
The U.S. continues to stand with the Syrian people in demanding accountability.
Question: Members of the Commission, how can we hasten the release of arbitrarily detained persons and identify the fate of the tens of thousands of missing Syrians?