Will There Ever Be Justice for the Mass Atrocities in Syria?
2017 Syria Series Inaugural Lecture
- Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp
Stephen J Rapp served as the US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice from 2009-2015 and he is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Prevention of Genocide and at The Hague Institute for Global Justice. Ambassador Rapp has been working tirelessly to collect documents and other evidence in war zones in Iraq and Syria and lay the foundation for prosecutions.
More about Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp
As Ambassador, Rapp coordinated US Government support to international criminal tribunals, including the International Criminal Court, as well as to hybrid and national courts responsible for prosecuting persons charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. He gained particular attention for his work to lay the foundation for accountability for crimes in Syria, most prominently by arranging for the United Nations Commission of Inquiry and other prosecutorial authorities to gain access to a cache of 55,000 photos that documented torture by the Assad regime.
He previously served as Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2007 to 2009 where he led the prosecution of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. His office achieved the first convictions in history for sexual slavery and forced marriage as crimes against humanity, and for attacks on peacekeepers and recruitment and use of child soldiers as violations of international humanitarian law. From 2001 to 2007, he served as Senior Trial Attorney and Chief of Prosecutions at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where he led the trial team that achieved the first convictions in history of leaders of the mass media for the crime of direct and public incitement to commit genocide.
About the Syria Series:
Through discussions with a diverse set of invited experts, this year-long series will explore the geo-political dimensions of the conflict, the pursuit of justice for mass atrocities, the rights and reality of the millions of refugees, and the local, national, and international responses to their bids for asylum. Organized by the University of Minnesota’s Center for New Americans, Human Rights Center, and Human Rights Program.
The Center for New Americans and Human Rights Program.