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UN will send about 60 people to collect data on crimes in Syria

UNITED NATIONS (OBSERVATORY) –┬áThe new body for the collection of facts about crimes committed in Syria during the conflict in the country, will include about 60 experts, so far none of its representatives have not had the opportunity to visit Syria. This was reported by the head of the new mechanism, Catherine Marsi-Uel.

The UN General Assembly in 2016 approved the establishment of an international, impartial and independent mechanism to facilitate investigations of those responsible for the most serious crimes under international law in Syria committed in the republic since March 2011.

“The team will include investigators and analysts of various profiles, including forensic, military, political and security-related”, – said in the first report of the mechanism, which will be submitted to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

There are also experts in criminal law, experts in the detection of electronic data, cybersecurity, experts in the analysis of crimes committed on sexual and gender grounds, and others. It is expected that “within the next year it (the team – ed.) Will be staffed completely and will number about 60 people,” the document says.

As noted in the document, “the mechanism faces a difficult task to transform the enormous volume of current and future documents and other materials into an evidentiary resource on which criminal cases will be built.” In this regard, it is noted that experts will have to “cope with the colossal amount” of available materials on the Syrian situation, in particular video recordings and other images. It emphasizes the “role of social networks.”

As Catherine Marsi-Uehl clarified, at present the mechanism does not have the opportunity to enter Syrian territory. However, she said, the representatives of the structure will continue to apply to the authorities of Syria from New York and Geneva, where the office of the structure is located.

“As for independence, the mechanism will not follow the instructions of any groups, will not be influenced by the agenda of external players, will not borrow the conclusions of other structures, but carry out their own objective assessment of the information received,” Marsi-Uel told reporters.