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


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


The report is premised on 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 (SGBV) 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.


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Investigation highlights abuses of students at the height of the Syrian civil warBBC WORLD NEWS
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