Bassam Alahmad

Guest Author

Bassam Alahmad (@BassamAlahmed) is a Syrian human rights defender and Co-Founder and Executive Director of Syrians for Truth and Justice – STJ, an organization launched officially in 2016 and concerned with documenting human rights violations throughout Syria. He also worked as a consultant with the International Federation of Human Rights – FIDH, formerly at the Violations Documentation Center in Syria – VDC, one of the first centers to document human rights violations in Syria after the uprising broke out in 2011, operating as a project of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression – SCM. Bassam recently completed a five-month fellowship at the National Endowment for Democracy – NED, in Washington DC, where he worked on his project aiming to fight exclusion and promote inclusiveness.

He started working in the field of human rights in 2005, beginning from his hometown, the city of al-Qamishli in far northeast Syria, with a special focus on issue related to the Kurdish minority, particularly the cause of the stateless Kurds in Syria. He graduated from Damascus University, where he studied Arabic literature. University was the trigger that helped him get involved in the public oppositionist activities against the Syrian government back then, along with dozens of antigovernment young people from different walks of life.

Working with the VDC, from 2012 to 2016, was a chance to gain new skills in the field of human rights violations in Syria, given the thousands of hundreds of crimes and violations that accompanied the bloodthirsty conflict. He served as the VDC’s spokesperson and its Director of Research and Reports Department for more than four years.

Later in 2015, he joined a US-funded fellowship with the Maxwell school at Syracuse University in New York City, as a part of the program “Leaders for Democracy” (LDF). This was the opportunity that first sparked the idea of what it is today Syrians for Truth and Justice-STJ.

He trained both Syrian individuals and groups on evidence collection and issues related to documentation, after he himself underwent a series of specialized trainings, as a part of a program intended to boost Syrian activists’ capabilities, held by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network – EMHRN, the AL-HAQ (Defending Human Rights) and Amnesty International.

France-based STJ documents human rights violations throughout Syria, covering all sides to the conflict. It also, and actively, bridges gaps in the human rights violations documentation process, hoping to come up with a single Syrian narrative that addresses all violations regardless of who the perpetrators are. He is also on LinkedIn.


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