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Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Syria
Statement by the United States at the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council

March 21, 2023

Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Syria

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Mr. Jesse Lynch

Human Rights Council – 52nd Session

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

And thank you to the Commissioners. The U.S. strongly supports the COI’s mandate renewal. We extend our condolences to all those affected by the wave of destruction caused by the February earthquakes and commend the critical life-saving role that Syrian first responders and civil society is fulfilling. We call for uninhibited and sustained humanitarian access to those in need throughout the country.

March marks the 12th anniversary of the start of the regime’s violent suppression of peaceful uprising in Syria including through extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, torture, and repeated bombings. We continue to stand with the brave Syrian human rights defenders documenting and fighting back against these egregious abuses and violations.

As the Commissioners have stressed, some of the regime’s violations and abuses amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes for which they should be held accountable. Violations and abuses affect every Syrian family and make conditions dangerous to return. Syrians wishing to return face the risk of checkpoints, forced conscription, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearances, torture, confiscation of property, and intimidation.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians remain arbitrarily or unjustly detained or missing – the majority held by the regime.

Syrian families, often led by mothers and grandmothers, plead for the international community to help them in their desperate search for answers on the fate of their missing family members. We echo the UN Secretary General and the COI’s call for a mechanism to determine the fate of missing persons and support survivors.

I thank you.