Rapport sur la torture en Syrie

Rapport sur la torture en Syrie

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CONFIDENTIAL A Report into the credibility of certain evidence with regard to Torture and Execution of Persons Incarcerated by the current Syrian regime. Prepared for Carter-Ruck and Co. Solicitors of London. 6 St Andrew Street, London, EC4A 3AE. 1 CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL Table of Contents I. The Members of the Inquiry Team II. Executive Summary III. Introduction IV. Methodology V. The Evidence of “Caesar” VI. The Evidence of “Caesar’s” Contact VII. Findings VIII. Conclusions IX. Appendices 2 CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL I. The Members of the Inquiry Team The Legal Team The Right Honourable Sir Desmond de Silva QC (Chairman) A former Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Appointed personally by the Secretary General of the United Nations. In that capacity he brought about the arrest of President Charles Taylor of Liberia. Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC The former lead prosecutor of ex-President Milosevic of Yugoslavia before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Professor David M. Crane The first Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Appointed personally by the Secretary General of the United Nations. In that capacity he indicted President Charles Taylor of Liberia. The Forensics Team Dr. Stuart J.

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Publié le 21 janvier 2014
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CONFIDENTIAL




















AReport
intothecredibilityofcertainevidencewithregardtoTorture
andExecutionofPersonsIncarceratedbythecurrentSyrian
regime.















PreparedforCarter-RuckandCo.SolicitorsofLondon.
6StAndrewStreet,London,EC4A3AE.
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TableofContents

I. TheMembersoftheInquiryTeam

II. ExecutiveSummary

III. Introduction

IV. Methodology

V. TheEvidenceof“Caesar”

VI. TheEvidenceof“Caesar’s”Contact

VII. Findings

VIII. Conclusions

IX. Appendices

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I.TheMembersoftheInquiryTeam

TheLegalTeam

TheRightHonourableSirDesmonddeSilvaQC(Chairman)
A former Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Appointed personally by the Secretary General of the United
Nations.InthatcapacityhebroughtaboutthearrestofPresident
CharlesTaylorofLiberia.

ProfessorSirGeoffreyNiceQC
Theformerleadprosecutorofex-PresidentMilosevicofYugoslavia
beforetheInternationalCriminalTribunalfortheformerYugoslavia.

ProfessorDavidM.Crane
The first Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Appointed personally by the Secretary General of the United
Nations.InthatcapacityheindictedPresidentCharlesTaylorof
Liberia.

TheForensicsTeam

Dr.StuartJ.HamiltonMBChBBMSc(Hons)FRCPathMFFLM.
AforensicpathologistontheUnitedKingdomHomeOfficeRegister.

ProfessorSusanBlackOBEBScPhDDScFRSEFRAICert-FA1
ProfessorofAnatomyandForensicAnthropology.Certifiedforensic
anthropologist.

StephenColeMFSSoc.
TechnicalDirectorforAcumeForensicsandForensicImagingexpert.




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II.ExecutiveSummary

Themembersofthisinquiryteamhave,collectively,vastexperience
intheprosecutionofwarcrimes,crimesagainsthumanityandother
crimescontrarytointernationallaw.

Theinquiryteamwasmandatedtodeterminethecredibilityofa
defectorfromSyriawhoseoccupationpriortohisdefectionwasin
theserviceofthemilitarypoliceoftheSyriangovernment.Inthat
capacity,formanyyears,hehadbeeninthemilitarypoliceandin
thatroleitfelltohimtophotographscenesofcrimes.Withthe
onsetofthecivilwarthenatureofhisoccupationchanged.His
duties,andthoseofhiscolleagues,nowweretophotographand
documentthebodiesofthosebroughtfromtheirplacesofdetention
toamilitaryhospital.

Thebodieshephotographedsincethecivilwarbegan,showedsigns
of starvation, brutal beatings, strangulation, and other forms of
tortureandkilling.

Thedefectorwhowascodenamed“Caesar”bytheinquiryteamhad,
duringthecourseofhiswork,smuggledoutsometensofthousands
ofimagesofcorpsessophotographedbyhiscolleaguesandhimself.
Othersimilarimageshavebeensmuggledoutbyotherpeople.Inall,
approximately fifty-five thousand (55,000) images have, to date,
beenmadeavailableoutsideSyriabytheseprocesses.Astherewere
somefourorfivephotographstakenofeachbodythisapproximates
to there being images of about eleven thousand (11,000) dead
detainees.

Havingcarefullyinterviewed“Caesar”andevaluatedhisevidencein
lightoftheexhibitsavailabletoit,theinquiryteamfoundhim,forits
part,tobeatruthfulandcrediblewitness.Herevealednosignsof
being‘sensational’;nordidheseempartisan.Althoughhewasa
supporterofthosewhoopposedthepresentregime,theinquiry
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teamissatisfiedthathegaveanhonestaccountofhisexperiences.
Ifhewishedtoexaggeratehisevidenceitwouldhavebeenveryeasy
forhimtosaythathehadactuallywitnessedexecutions.Infact,he
made it quite plain that he never witnessed a single execution.
Thereweremanyotherreasonswhichdrovetheinquiryteamtoits
conclusionthathisevidencewasreliableandcouldsafelybeacted
uponinanysubsequentjudicialproceedings.
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III.Introduction.

ThemembersoftheinquiryteamtravelledtotheMiddleEastfrom
theUnitedKingdomandtheUnitedStatesofAmericatodischargea
mandategiventothembythefirmofCarter-RuckandCo.intheCity
ofLondon.

Theinformationavailabletothelegalteampriortoitsarrivalinthe
MiddleEastwasthattherewasadefectorfromSyriawhowasthen
inathirdcountry.Priortohisdefectionhehadbeeninthemilitary
police.Thelegalteamwasfurtherinformedthatthereweresome
fifty-five thousand (55,000) photographic images of some eleven
thousand (11,000) detained persons who had been tortured and
killedbyagentsofthecurrentSyrianregimesincethebeginningof
theuprisingagainsttheAssadregimeinMarch2011.

Itwasalsotheunderstandingoftheinquiryteamthatthisdefector
hadsuppliedthousandsofphotographicimagesofexecutedpersons
by making copies of the photographic images on a ‘flash drive’
(memorystick).

Themandateentrustedtotheinquiryteamwastoquestionthis
defectorandtoestablishwhetherhewasatruthfulandcredible
witness.

Theinterviewingofthedefector,whowascodenamed“Caesar”for
th th th
hisownprotection,tookplaceonthe12 ,13 ,and18 January
2014.

Duringthecourseofhisaccounttotheinquiryteamthewitness
dealtwithhisemploymentinthemilitarypoliceandinformedthe
membersoftheteamthatitfelltothatsectiontotakephotographs
ofpersonswhowereinjuredordead.Howeveraftertheuprising
againsttheAssadregimeitbecameroutinetotakephotographsof
people in detention who had been tortured and killed during
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detention. The reason for photographing executed persons was
twofold:Firsttopermitadeathcertificatetobeproducedwithout
familiesrequiringtoseethebodytherebyavoidingtheauthorities
havingtogiveatruthfulaccountoftheirdeaths;secondtoconfirm
thatorderstoexecuteindividualshadbeencarriedout.Atnostage
did“Caesar”indicatetomembersoftheinquiryteamthathehad
beenpresentwhenanytortureoranyexecutionhadtakenplace.

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IV.MethodologyofInquiry

Legalmethodology

Given the competing national and other interests in the Syrian
conflictthemembersoftheinquiryteamapproachedtheirtaskin
theevaluationoftheevidenceofthedefectorcodenamed“Caesar”
andthephotographicimageswithcautionandanalertnesstothe
factthattheinquiryteamitselfhadtoguardagainstbeingusedasa
vehicleforotherstoadvanceaparticularpointofview.

In addition, in view of the fact that this inquiry was evaluating
potential evidence which, if true, revealed the gravest of crimes
contrary to international law, the members of the inquiry team
subjectedallevidenceheardandviewedtorigorousscrutiny.Given
thenatureoftheallegationsmade,theinquiryteamproceededon
thebasisofonlycomingtoanadverseconclusionasregardscriminal
involvementonthemostconvincingaccount.

Inthisregardtheinquiryteamwasmostablyassistedbythreehighly
experienced forensic experts for whose professionalism the legal
teamismostgrateful.





ForensicMethodology

The digital images of dead bodies were examined by Dr. Stuart
HamiltonandProfessorSueBlack.Theimageswereexaminedinthe
firstinstancewithouttheexpertsbeingawareoftheevidenceof
“Caesar”orhavinganywrittenaccountofhisevidence.Theimages
were assessed for evidence of physical injury and other relevant
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features.Itwasrecognizedthattheimagesweresaidtohavebeen
producedduringatimeofarmedconflictinSyriaandtheexperts
werethereforemindfulofthepossibilityofapparentinjuriesbeing
theresultoflawfulmilitaryaction.

Thirty-five images were uploaded directly to a secure server at
AcumeForensicsintheUnitedKingdomforassessmentbyStephen
Cole,anexpertindigitalimaging.Itwasconfirmedtotheinquiry
teamthattheseimageswerenotdigitallyaltered.

Ofthefifty-fivethousand(55,000)imagestwenty-sixthousandnine
hundredandfortyeight(26,948)imageswerepresentinvarious
foldersonthecomputerwheretheimageswereexamined.The
inquiryteamwassatisfiedthatallofthosetwenty-sixthousandnine
hundredandfortyeight(26,948)wereprovidedby“Caesar”,aswere
1someoftheothertwentythousandplusimages .

Averysignificantpercentageofthebodiesshowedemaciationas
definedhere:

Emaciation: For an individual to be classified as emaciated
(medicallyreferredtoascachexia),thereshouldbemarkedevidence
ofseverelylowbodyweightwithfeaturessuchasscaphoidabdomen
(sunkenwithprominenthipbones),prominentribs,wastingofthe
limbmusclesandinsomecases,Hippocraticfacies(asunkenand
hollowfacialappearance).Anindividualmerelyappearing“thin”
wasinsufficienttoplacehimintothiscategory.


The following terminology was used for particular categories of
images:


1Theinquiryteamwasgivenaccesstotheimagesreferredtointhisparagraphbythe
currentholdersoftheseimagesnamelytheSyrianNationalMovement.
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Convincing Evidence of Inflicted Trauma: For images in this
category,therewasevidenceofphysicalinjuryofthesortthatwould
resultfrombeating,binding,restraintorotherphysicalassaultbut
excludinginjuriesthatcouldreasonablyhaveoccurredastheresult
oflegalcombatengagement.Thiscategorywasreservedforthose
injuries that the experts felt could be so presented with a high
degreeofcertaintytoacourt.

Thereweremanybodiesthatshowedbloodstaining.Thepresence
ofsuchstainingaloneintheabsenceofvisibleinjuryontheimage
wasnotconsideredtobeevidenceofinjury;itwasnecessaryfor
theretobeanassociatedlesionthatwouldcausebleeding.

EquivocalEvidenceofInflictedTrauma:Fortheseimages,therewas
eitherevidenceofinjurythatwaspartiallyobscuredortheimages
did not capture injuries with sufficient clarity to support a high
degree of scientific certainty as to cause. Therefore these cases
represent individuals where there was a possibility, but not the
“convincingevidence”ofinflictedtraumaasdefinedabove.

Noapparenttrauma:Theseimagesdidnotshowsufficientevidence
tobecategorizedwithineitherofthetwogroupsabove.Thisdoes
notmeanthattheindividualhadnotsustainedinflictedunlawful
trauma,simplythatthiscouldnotbeconfirmedfromtheevidence
available.

Theexpertstooktheviewthattheywereexaminingphysicalfindings
only. They could not determine from the physical appearances
whethertorturehadinfacttakenplace,astorturerequiresastateof
mindintheindividualorindividualsinflictingtheinjuries.

Limitationsoftheforensicanalysisoftheimages.

Therewerecertainlimitationsupontheforensicexperts’assessment
oftheimages:
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