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Combating arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances and chemical weapons


Taher Hijazi is a Syrian human rights activist who has been fighting arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances in his country since 2011. He was injured by sarin gas in 2013 while documenting the chemical weapons massacre in Eastern Ghouta. The awardee arrived in France in 2019 and was granted asylum in 2020. In 2022, he founded the Association of Victims of Chemical Weapons in Syria, through which he advocates to support efforts to ban the use of such weapons worldwide. Taher is also the president of the Justice Paths Association. He fights daily for justice and to prevent impunity.



Interview with Taher Hijazi - April 20, 2023

Could you please introduce yourself?

My name is Taher Hijazi, I've been a Syrian human rights activist since 2011, fighting against forced arrests and disappearances as well as the use of chemical armies in Syria. I have documented the violations committed in my country during the war and have been injured several times by sarin gas and chlorine.

What do you expect from the Marianne initiative as you consolidate your project?

Since the start of the program, I've learned a lot about project management, advocacy and speaking out, and I've met several associations in France with my colleagues, such as Maison des Femmes and Maison des Journalistes. I've also met several very important people, such as Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui and Afghan activist Parwana Paikan. I think these activities are very beneficial and I really feel that I've been developing my skills since the start of the program.

What activities have been most useful to you since the start of the program?

The project management and association creation courses help me a lot. I've already set up an association in France, but I need to learn more about how to go about the administrative procedures. I also really enjoyed the courses at Sciences Po. I took part in a course on politics in North Africa and the Middle East.

Can you tell me more about your association in France?

I founded an association in August 2022 called the Association of Victims of Chemical Weapons in Syria. The aim of the association is to intensify efforts to document the use of chemical weapons, inform the world about the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria, guarantee the rights of survivors of the use of these weapons, commemorate the memory of the victims, and support and sustain advocacy efforts to ban the use of chemical weapons worldwide. These are the main objectives of my association.

What future activities do you think will bring you the most benefits?

I'm looking forward to meeting Handicap International. It's an association that advocates the banning of chemical weapons.



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