UN Gathers ‘Unprecedented’ Amount of Data in Syria War Crime Probe

Eastern Ghouta – Photo: AFP

(The Globe Post) – U.N. investigators said on Tuesday they had begun sifting through “unprecedented” amounts of information related to horrific crimes committed in Syria’s seven-year war.

Catherine Marchi-Uhel, the French judge leading the new U.N. push to bring Syria’s war criminals to justice, said “overwhelming” amounts of data were flooding in and it would be impossible for investigators to probe all of the crimes.

“We are faced with unprecedented volumes of information,” she told reporters in Geneva, adding that her team was setting up IT systems capable of managing the vast amounts of data.

The so-called “International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism” was created in 2016 to compile prosecutorial files that could be used by any jurisdiction — domestic or international — capable of acting against the perpetrators of major crimes in Syria.

Ms. Marchi-Uhel, who was appointed last July and who published her first report this week, said the team, which is due to swell to 60 people, was still at the data gathering and sorting stage. But she said it was already clear it was “not going to be in a position to investigate each and every crime. That would be an impossible task.”

The team had recently reached an agreement to access most of the information gathered by the U.N. Commission of Inquiry that has been reporting on atrocities in the Syrian conflict, which has killed more than 350,000 people since 2011.

It also wants to cooperate with many non-governmental organisations that have been compiling documentation of crimes, she said, stressing that the mechanism would re-evaluate and re-analyse all data and draw its own conclusions.

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Source: Globe Post

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