The Road to Justice in Syria

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English/Arabic with translation

Livestream starts at this page around 19.30

After 12 years of war and devastation: where are we on the road to justice for Syria? In this programme, experts take you on a trip through the scattered landscape of justice and accountability efforts for the atrocious crimes committed by the regime in Syria. At the same time, we listen to the human stories behind them. We talk about what justice means for Syrians, how they dream about the future of their country.

Looking for justice in Syria is frustrating, a proper international legal solution is still lacking. Take for example the story of Brigadier General Khaled Al Halabi — the protagonist in the podcast The Syria Trials S2 —, a former Syrian intelligence officer accused of violent crimes and who is still at large in Europe today. Why isn’t he arrested yet? Experts will have a closer look at his work within the Syrian intelligence system, his alleged role in violently suppressing the peaceful revolution and his escape to Europe after his city fell out of regime control.

Besides frustration, Syrian innovation in the field of justice and accountability has been thriving. Because frustration and deadlocks can result in new, creative ways of chasing justice. Experts, academics, and lawyers will talk about these novel ways of working.

This programme is also the launch of the second season of the investigative podcast series The Syria Trials, produced by 75 Podcasts.

This programme is supported with German Federal Foreign Office’s Funds by Ifa (Institüt Für Auslandsbeziehungen), Funding Programme Zivik.

About the speakers

Mariana Karkoutly currently works as an independent legal investigator in collaboration with Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), with whom she supports the development of case-files pertaining to war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria. Karkoutly has been advocating for human rights for years. Living in Syria and seeing the countless human rights violations perpetrated against women due to discriminatory laws called her to action.

Ugur Ümit Üngör is a political historian, professor Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and at the same time senior researcher at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Together with a Syrian student he obtained about 30 secret videos of executions of Syrian citizens. Following two years of research they were able to trace the perpetrators and come into contact with them.

Fritz Streiff is an international criminal and human rights lawyer. He heads the Ukraine work at the Amsterdam-based Nuhanovic Foundation, and works on international crimes committed in Syria along with partner organizations such as the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression. Streiff is the founder and director of 75 Podcasts, a podcast organization that produces bilingual podcasts with a focus on international human rights and social issues.

Lubna Alkanawati is a Syrian feminist and women’s rights activist, serving as Deputy Director at Women Now for Development, a leading Syrian feminist organization. Her journey began in the early days of the Syrian revolution, where she joined protests for justice and dignity. Recognizing the dire conditions faced by women during the conflict, Lubna took on the critical role of providing humanitarian aid in besieged areas. Lubna has been a tireless advocate against human rights abuses by the Assad regime. She has documented violations, supported fellow civilians, and passionately advanced accountability for chemical weapons attacks on Syrian civilians while combatting gender-based violence.

About The Syria Trials & 75 Podcasts

In two seasons, The Syria Trials tells the wider stories behind the challenges, frustrations, and hopes that make up the jigsaw puzzle of justice and accountability efforts for Syria. The podcast has a sister edition in Arabic. This Arabic series is a conversational podcast in which Syrians discuss those justice priorities that are most pressing to them in this moment of so-called “normalisation” of the Syrian regime. During this evening, we will discuss several topics from the podcast and listen to thought-provoking excerpts from the new seasons.

75 Podcasts tells intriguing stories from the world of international human rights and criminal justice. The two current podcasts are called Branch 251 and The Syria Trials. Not just in English for an international audience, but more importantly in Arabic as well. By catering to both English and Arabic speakers, 75 Podcasts is not only able to reach a wider audience, but also the people who need to hear about the trial the most: Syrians. This story belongs to them.


Mariana Karkoutly Syrian activist, legal practitioner
Ugur Ümit ÜngörProfessor of Genocide Studies
Lubna Al KanawatiHuman rights defender
Mais KattInvestigative Journalist, media trainer
Saleem SalamehWriter, podcast producer
Fritz StreiffHuman rights lawyer
Kristina KaghdoPodcast producer, translator
Sasha Edye-LindnerProducer
Listen to

Altijd als eerste op de hoogte van onze programmering, De Balie podcasts, Tv fragmenten en de nodige verdieping.