10. Trials, Punishment, Amnesty and Getting Truth and Recognition

• As part of the transitional justice process, there should be a transitional justice commission and/or a program of sessions, discussions and dialogues to get to the truth. This should engage combatants who have not committed gross violations and crimes as well as victims and survivors;
• Those responsible for gross violations and crimes should be tried and punished. These include: (i) Those responsible for decisions made at the center/in headquarters for such violations and crimes; (ii) Leaders on the ground who gave the orders to carry out gross violations and crimes; (iii) Individuals who directly carried out gross violations and crimes;

• Collect stories of violations from the multiplicity of sources and verify them. Use human rights organizations and CSOs or set up special committees to gather this evidence;
• Where it is possible to do so, the regime and opposition might identify from among the list of prisoners they compile those who they are accusing of ordering or committing gross violations and crimes;
• Individuals accused of gross violations and crimes should face independent trials under UN or other international supervision, such trials to take place over an agreed period of time. The trials may be at international or national level but international law and standards should be the benchmark for such trials;
• Sufficient judges with the qualifications and capacity needed for these types of cases is a concern that needs to be addressed;
• Any amnesty for those involved in armed conflict should be on conditions that include handing in their weapons and renouncing violence. In order to qualify for amnesty and escape prosecution, they should: (i) hand in their weapons; (ii) agree not to take up arms against the new/renewed army or at any time in the future; and (iii) commit in writing, or by other sworn means, to pursue only peaceful means to resolve conflict in future; and
• Qualification for amnesty and escape from prosecution must not apply to those who have committed gross violations and crimes.

Copyright © 2020 CCSD.