Former Sigrid Rausing Trust grantee brings civil case against Syrian government for the death of journalist Marie Colvin

Washington DC, 9th April 2018: Former SRT grantee the Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA ) and Shearman & Sterling LLP, acting on behalf of the family of journalist Marie Colvin, have requested that the federal court in Washington, DC enter default judgment against the Syrian government for her assassination. The motion makes public for the first time evidence showing the regime’s crimes, including statements from high-level defectors and confidential Syrian government documents.

Marie Colvin was killed by artillery fire in February 2012 while reporting for the Sunday Times from the besieged city of Homs in Syria. The evidence made public on 9th April includes:

  • Testimony from a Syrian intelligence defector providing a meticulous account of how the regime planned the attack that killed Marie Colvin and French photographer Rémi Ochlik.
  • The world’s first view of nearly 200 confidential documents from Syria’s military and security agencies, revealing not only how the regime adopted a policy of targeting journalists, but also how senior Syrian officials set in motion the crackdown on dissent in 2011 that led to Syria’s civil war.

CJA attorney Scott Gilmore said, ‘The evidence unsealed today leaves no doubt that the Assad Regime methodically planned the attack that killed Marie. Insider witnesses, audio-visual recordings, and nearly 200 documents secretly smuggled out of Syria confirm that Marie’s assassination was part of a greater plan by the Assad Regime to silence opposition and neutralize the media.’

Plaintiff Cathleen Colvin, Marie Colvin’s sister, said, ‘My sister was killed for exposing the Assad Regime’s brutality, but her work lives on. We submit this evidence to seek justice for Marie – and for the thousands of Syrian victims of torture and murder who have not yet had their day in court. We hope our case will inspire the international community to finally bring Syria’s war criminals to justice.’

CJA was a grantee of the Sigrid Rausing Trust between 2007 and 2016.

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