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15 April 2014 - Communiqué of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations

UN Security Council meeting, organized by France, on the "Caesar report" on mass torture perpetrated by the Syrian Regime

The Permanent Mission of France to the UN will organize on Tuesday 15 April an informal Security Council meeting (« Arria » format) on the « Caesar » report on mass torture and execution of detainees by the Syrian regime.

This report, which was made public in January 2014 and circulated by France as a Security Council document (S/2014/244) on April, 2nd, 2014, was prepared by an inquiry team consisting of legal, medical and medical imaging experts, chaired by Sir Desmond Da Silva, former Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

The work carried out by this team was based on the photographs provided by a former member of the Syrian military police, who had defected, and was codenamed "Caesar". He had been tasked, from the start of the Syrian conflict, with photographing the bodies of detainees who had died in the regime’s prisons, and on whom various abuses, leading to their death, had been inflicted.

The authenticity of the photographic images obtained from "Caesar" has been confirmed through in-depth expert analysis. These horrific photos suggest that at least 11,000 Syrians have been tortured and executed in the regime’s prisons since the start of the conflict.

The Security Council meeting organized by France on Tuesday will allow members of the Inquiry Team to brief Security Council Members on the content of the report. It will also allow a discussion on the means to ensure accountability for these crimes.

Two speakers, members of the Inquiry Team, will be invited to brief the Council Members:

-  Professor David M. Crane, first Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, who took part to the preparation of the Caesar report as member of the Legal team;
-  Dr. Stuart J. Hamilton MB ChB BMSc(Hons) FRCPath MFFLM. A forensic pathologist on the United Kingdom Home Office Register.

The Security Council meeting will take place on Tuesday 15 April from 10AM to 12PM in room 6 (UN North Lawn Building). It will be a private meeting.


Following the meeting, the Permanent Representative of France and the two speakers will hold a press conference at 12:30 in the UN Press Conference Room.


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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU