Joint Statement by Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands welcoming the provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice for Syria to immediately cease torture and other ill-treatment

Today, the International Court of Justice delivered its Order on the Request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Canada and the Netherlands in their case to hold Syria accountable for its systematic practice of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment.

Since at least 2011, countless victims in Syria have been tortured, murdered, sexually assaulted, and forcibly disappeared. Twelve years on, these heinous human rights violations persist. Today, the International Court of Justice recognized the urgency of the situation and the irreparable harm caused by Syria’s recurring use of torture and other ill-treatment against its people.

We welcome this decision of the Court to indicate provisional measures which require Syria to prevent acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and ensure that its officials and others under its control do not commit such practices, as well as to preserve evidence related to such acts.

The Order issued today is binding upon Syria. It must now immediately implement these provisional measures to prevent a further increase of its human rights violations. The next step is the written proceedings stage.

The indication of provisional measures is a first step towards accountability in their ongoing case before the International Court of Justice. Canada and the Netherlands initiated proceedings against Syria on June 8 of this year for its repeated violations of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment.

Canada and the Netherlands are guided by the firm belief that there can be no sustainable peace and lasting reconciliation in Syria without accountability for human rights violations and justice for victims and survivors. We remain committed to working towards this goal.