Mar 20

Past Event

The Human Rights Situation in Syria: An Assessment by the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry

Event Materials



  • Firm Stand Against Military Force in Syria

    Yakin Erturk, Commission of Inquiry for Syria: We’ve taken a firm stand against military force in Syria. It’s one thing to intervene and get rid of the villain, it’s another thing to intervene and restore a civil society.

  • Military Intervention in Syria Won’t Work

    Paulo Pinheiro, Chair, Commission of Inquiry for Syria: Forget the fantasy, military intervention in Syria will not work, this is the time for diplomacy.

  • Syrian Refugees Have Nothing to Return To

    Karen AbuZayed, Commission of Inquiry for Syria: The number of Syrian refugees is rapidly growing and they’re not in any rush to return to Syria because they have nothing to return to.

Full Event


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For the past year, the international community has been largely paralyzed in responding to Bashar al-Assad’s violent repression of protests in Syria. Though the United Nations Security Council has failed to pass a condemnatory resolution, the UN Human Rights Council swiftly established an independent international Commission of Inquiry in September 2011 to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since the beginning of the uprising. After extensive interviews with victims and witnesses, the commission’s report presented this month concluded that the Syrian military and security forces have been committing gross violations of human rights since the onset of the protests.

On March 20, Managing Global Order and the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted the members of the commission to discuss the findings of this recently released report. Paulo Pinhiero, chairman of the commission, along with commissioners Yakin Ertürk and Karen AbuZayd provided an overview of their investigation and described the current human rights situation in Syria. Senior Fellow Ted Piccone, deputy director of Foreign Policy at Brookings, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.

After the program, panelists took audience questions.

Event Agenda


March 20, 2012

4:30 PM - 6:00 PM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105