Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)


Local Offices to Document and Report Ongoing Human Rights Violations

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Damascus – 10/06/2013 The Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies has established three local offices inside Syria. These offices are managed by activists and human rights defenders. One of the offices will operate in and cover northern Syria, the second the middle regions and provinces, and the last the southern parts of the country.

As the situation in Syria has transformed from a peaceful uprising to an armed conflict, subsequently the level of violence has increased to include crimes against humanity and war crimes. Also due to the liberation of some areas and provinces in Syria, the necessity of founding local offices has become a priority. As a result of that such local offices will work on the ground to monitor the situation in Syria physically and to ease the process of observing, documenting, and collecting evidences on a daily bases.

The main mission of these local offices is to document the daily violations in each area of operation, including counting and gathering information about victims and detainees, collecting evidence, creating databases, and documenting testimonies from victims and eye witnesses. Reports will be sent daily with statistical lists, charts, and tables to be published and to finally be used in order to prosecute human rights violators.

The establishment of the three local offices will be the first step followed by other ones. DCHRS will continue covering all the regions in Syria as possible via its local offices. And for other regions that are difficult to reach and found offices in, DCHRS will continue working with volunteers and activist to cover them as well.

The Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS) was founded in 2005 in order to monitor the reality of human rights in Syria, documenting violations and mobilize support and advocacy to improve this reality and accountable the perpetrators of these violations.

DCHRS is an independent, non-governmental organization, established in 2005, located in the Syrian capital of Damascus. Its mission is to foster a spirit of support and respect for the values and standards of human rights in Syria. As such, DCHRS recognizes and adheres to all pertinent international human rights agreements and declarations issued by the UN. DCHRS worked on a variety of documentation projects. Such projects included daily casualty reports, massacre reports, and other human rights violations reports. Also DCHRS has been working on advocacy and lobbying in different human rights institutions in order to educate and acknowledge about the deteriorating human rights situation in Syria. Finally, DCHRS opened local offices in Syria in order to document, collect, and observe human rights violations on the ground.

After the launch of the Syrian revolution, the center increased its activities through working, communicating, and coordinating with many members and activists. Thus the center began documenting daily violations against peaceful demonstrators perpetrated by the Syrian regime forces. Such violations included: extrajudicial killings, massacres, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, rape, torture in prisons. DCHRS submitted those reports to many international and regional human rights organizations and communicated with the Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic on Syria.