Rights Lawyer Anwar al-Bunni Warns Against “Making Deals with War Criminals” as International Community Convenes at Brussels Conference


During one of the discussions opening the civil society dialogue portion of this year’s “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” conference, award-winning Syrian human rights lawyer Anwar al-Bunni warned against making deals with criminals wanted by international courts for crimes against humanity.

Al-Bunni’s argument is more pressing than ever now that the Syrian government has further consolidated its control of the country. International donors, governments, and humanitarian organizations find themselves having to navigate a political minefield of funneling money towards “supporting the Syrian people,” without inadvertently legitimizing a government accused of serious international crimes committed during eight years of brutal conflict.

As UN-led peace talks in Geneva appear more or less stagnant, al-Bunni remains skeptical about the prospects of any political process around Syria. At the same time, he hopes that the international arrest warrants issued last year could pave the way towards accountability and transitional justice for Syrians.

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Syria Direct