The investigations team at SBC works on in-depth investigations into international crimes committed in Syria with the aim of pursuing both legal and non-legal routes towards accountability for crimes committed. As a group of consultants, we work independently within SBC to interview eyewitnesses and experts and to document and preserve evidence of crimes committed in Syria. Our investigations adopt a victim-centred approach to ensure that our work is aligned with the interests and priorities of the represented communities and does not compromise their physical or emotional well-being. We also involve the communities in the delivery of both legal and non-legal accountability initiatives, including through advocacy campaigns involving media and social media exposure of the documented crimes and responsible parties. We receive support in investigations from the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA).
Our first investigation, conducted between 2020-2022, investigated the crimes committed during the August 2012 Daraya massacre. We published a report which detailed findings of the crimes committed, entities responsible, and means through which the attack was coordinated and executed. Through this investigation, we interviewed male and female eyewitnesses as well as experts to assemble a picture of the crimes committed during one of the worst massacres of the early years of the Syrian conflict. We handed over evidence to IIIM. In effort to preserve history/archiving, we made our report publicly accessible and launched a campaign surrounding the 10-year mark following the Daraya massacre.
The investigations team is currently investigating crimes committed against Syrian university students.
In August 2012, the Syrian Government and allied forces carried out a brutal military campaign against Daraya, a town southwest of the Syrian capital of Damascus. The attack involved five days of indiscriminate shelling and culminated in 72 hours of door-to-door summary executions of hundreds of civilians. Hundreds more were detained or forcibly disappeared.
SBC conducted a two-year investigation into this attack, including 23 witness interviews, two expert interviews, documentary evidence and open-source investigation. On the 10th anniversary of this attack, SBC published a report detailing its findings regarding the crimes committed, entities responsible, and means through which the attack against Daraya was coordinated and executed.