Joumana Seif

Syrian lawyer and activist, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

Region(s): Middle East
Country of focus: Syria
Based in Berlin


Current Occupation: Syrian lawyer and activist, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
Organization/Institution: European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
Language: English, Arabic


Syrian state torture on trial Qantara Jun 2, 2023

Saudis Welcome Assad in Diplomatic Win for Syria’s Leader Bloomberg May 19, 2023

Can Europe bring Syrian regime officials to justice? New Arab Apr 12, 2023

How I energize myself to do the work I do Speech Heinrich Böll Stiftung Mar 16, 2023

Joumana Seif: My dream is ‘to help build a democratic Syria’ DW Deutsche Welle Jan 2, 2022

The Syria Trials/The Regime Today 75 Podcasts Nov 4, 2022

After the groundbreaking Koblenz verdict, what justice do Syrians envision? Syria Direct Feb 17, 2022

The fight to prosecute Syrian war criminals New Statesman World Review Podcast Jan 24, 2022

The Trial of Anwar Raslan Al Jazeera Jan 20, 2022

Syrian torture survivors finally came face to face with their tormentor CNN Jan 15, 2022

Syrian ex-colonel faces verdict in German torture trial AFP in France24 Jan 13, 2022

Witnesses Of Alleged War Crimes In Syria Testify Despite Feeling They’re In Danger NPR Sept 16, 2021

A Political Solution in Syria is a long way off  International Politics and Society June 15, 2021

Lawyering for Change: Q&A with Joumana Seif on Syria The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy Apr 29, 2021

For Syrians, the road to justice begins in Europe France24 March 09, 2021

Syrian Ex-Officer Is Convicted in First Trial of Assad Regime Torture Wall Street Journal Feb 24, 2021

Words against Silence Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research March 2020

Assad’s henchmen: The painstaking hunt for Syrian war criminals in Europe The New Arab July 30, 2020

Can Syrian sexual violence survivors get justice in Germany? Deutsche Welle June 2020


Joumana Seif  (@SeifJoumana) is a Syrian women’s and human rights activist and lawyer. She is a Research Fellow with the International Crimes and Accountability program at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin (@ECCHRBerlin). She co-authored, with Wejdan Nassif, Words against Silence, a report on the imprisonment of activists in Syria.

She is a co-founder of the Syrian Women’s Network and the Syrian Women’s Political Movement— Syria’s first women-led political movement. Joumana is also the Chairperson of The Day After , an organization founded in 2012 to support a democratic  transition in Syria.

In June 2022 she spoke at the UN Security Council Arria-formula meeting on Syrian women’s voices on detainees and the disappeared in Syria.

She is the 2023 recipient of the Anne Klein Women’s Award, an honour by the Heinrich Böll Foundation recognizing global activists against sexualized violence in armed conflict.

Joumana comes from a politically active family. Her father, a dissident Member of Parliament, went to prison multiple times for his criticism of the Assad regime, and the family’s textile factory was taxed into bankruptcy. In 2012, Joumana fled to Berlin, Germany, where she works to bring women’s voices into peace negotiations and to end the devastating war in Syria. Since 2017, she has worked with the International Crimes and Accountability program of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, focusing on sexual and gender-based violence committed in Syrian detention facilities.