Syrian Expert House Meets Syrian Legal and Civil Society Organizations in Mersin, Turkey


Click here to read the release

On 25-26 August, 2014, a delegation from Syrian Expert House, headed by Dr. Radwan Ziadeh, executive director of Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies (SCPSS), and Mr. Amr al-Sarraj, senior researcher in the Transitional Justice team, traveled to Mersin city to hold meetings with a group of defected judges, human rights activists, civil-society organizations, and a number of victims’ families. The meetings outlined Syria Transition Roadmap, a document published by SCPSS and the Syrian Expert House detailing the Syrian opposition’s vision of the democratic transition in Syria.


Syrian Expert House delegation met with the families of the victims who fled Daraya city in Damascus suburbs as a result of the horrific massacre known as Daraya Massacre. Furthermore, Daraya Massacre occurred on 25 August, 2012 and the number of casualties reached 524 victims. The delegation listened to testimonies by those families as eyewitnesses since they watched their loved be killed helplessly. Later they discussed means and ways of achieving justice in the future, affirmed holding the perpetrators accountable, and stated that the culture of impunity has to end. Finally they outlined the role of the Syrian Commission for Transitional Justice (SCTJ) in cooperating with them and making their voice be heard.


Additionally, the delegation met a number of defected judges and lawyers represented by the Free Syrian Lawyers’ Aggregation in order to discuss the judicial system in the liberated areas and the current state of the Syrian refugee judges and lawyers. Syrian expert house was briefed by judges and lawyers on their programs, activities, and accomplishments in the legal and judicial efforts, which aims to serve the Syrians refugees in Mersin city and the neighboring Turkish cities.


Mersin city contains large number of Syrian refugees and it is located close to the Syrian Turkish border. Therefore the Syrian Expert House considered visiting the city in order to promote Syria Transition Roadmap, advocate on its different aspects on rebuilding and reforming after the conflict, and discuss with Syrian communities about their vision for the future of Syria. Also the visits intended to evaluate the status if the Syrian citizens, listen to their problems, and hear their testimonies in order to address them in coordination with the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and the Syrian Interim government.


Syria Transition Roadmap is the result of a year-long consensus-building research process conducted by the Syrian Expert House, a group of approximately 300 Syrian human rights activists, academics, judges, lawyers, leaders of the political opposition, defected government officials, defected military officers, members of local revolutionary councils, and commanders of the armed opposition.