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Militia on Campus: Crimes of the National Union of Syrian Students at Damascus University (Report)

SBC’s report “Militia on Campus: Crimes of the National Union of Syrian Students at Damascus University” offers the conclusions of a year-long investigation conducted by SBC’s Investigations Team into international crimes committed by members and agents of the National Union of Syrian Students (NUSS) at the University of Damascus, focusing on the years 2011-2013 when anti-regime sentiment within the student body was at its highest. 


SBC conducted 20 in-depth interviews with 17 male and three female witnesses, inclusive of former students, professors, and NUSS members, with their full and informed consent. Their testimonies revealed how NUSS members — themselves university students — assumed widespread powers on campus post-2011, attacking peaceful anti-regime protests; arbitrarily detaining students due to (suspicion of) anti-regime activity; and torturing students including by beating, tasing, and verbally and psychologically abusing them. Sex and gender-based violations as well as violations with sectarian undertones were also documented. Witness testimony further confirmed extensive cooperation and coordination between the NUSS and Syrian State security services, indicating that NUSS crimes were not committed in isolation, but rather, in the context of the wider Syrian government crackdown against the national uprising against its rule which began in March 2011. 


Report download link is at the bottom of this page.

رابط التقرير باللغة العربية في نهاية الصفحة

*Correction: A previous version of the report mentioned that Ayham Ghazoul died under custody of the Air Force Intelligence. The report has been corrected to reflect that he died under custody of the Raiding and Storming Branch 215 of the Military Intelligence.

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