In Paris, three senior Syrian officers tried for crimes in opposition to humanity | EUROtoday

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Three senior officers of Bashar al-Assad's regime can be tried from Tuesday, in absentia, for complicity in crimes in opposition to humanity and struggle crimes earlier than the Paris Assize Court, for his or her position within the deaths of two Franco-Syrians arrested in 2013.

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The first trial in France into the crimes of the Bashar al-Assad regime opens on Tuesday, May 21, earlier than the Paris Assize Court: three senior Syrian officers are being tried in absentia, notably for complicity in crimes in opposition to humanity.

Targeted by worldwide arrest warrants, Ali Mamlouk, former head of the National Security Bureau, the very best intelligence physique in Syria, Jamil Hassan, former director of the much-feared intelligence companies of the Air Force and Abdel Salam Mahmoud, former director of the investigation department of those companies, are additionally accused of complicity in struggle crimes.

According to the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), this trial “will try the highest officials of the regime ever prosecuted since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in March 2011.”

Trials on the abuses of the Syrian regime have already taken place elsewhere in Europe, notably in Germany. But in these circumstances, the individuals prosecuted had been of decrease rank, and current on the hearings.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, July 16, 2023 in Damascus.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, July 16, 2023 in Damascus. © Louai Beshara, AFP

In this case, the three males are suspected of getting performed a job, to various levels, within the pressured disappearance and loss of life of Mazzen Dabbagh and his son Patrick, two Franco-Syrians who lived in Damascus.

The two victims, a scholar on the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Damascus born in 1993 for the son and principal schooling advisor on the French School of Damascus born in 1956 for the daddy, had been arrested in November 2013 by officers claiming to belong to the Syrian Air Force intelligence companies.

“Fight for the truth”

According to Mazzen Dabbagh's brother-in-law, arrested similtaneously him however launched two days later, the 2 males had been transferred to Mezzeh airport, the headquarters of a spot of detention denounced as one of many worst torture facilities of the regime.

Then they gave no additional signal of life till they had been declared lifeless in August 2018. According to the loss of life certificates despatched to the household, Patrick died on January 21, 2014 and Mazzen on November 25, 2017.

In their indictment order, the investigating judges contemplate it “sufficiently established” that the 2 males “suffered, like hundreds of detainees inside Air Force intelligence, torture of such depth that they died from it.”

Beats with iron bars on the soles of the ft, electrical shocks, sexual violence… During the investigations, a number of dozen witnesses – together with a number of deserters from the Syrian military and former detainees from Mezzeh – detailed particulars to French investigators and to the NGO International Commission for Justice and Accountability (CIJA) the torture inflicted within the jail.

Pro-regime fighters in the suburbs of Aleppo, Syria, September 9, 2016.
Pro-regime fighters within the suburbs of Aleppo, Syria, September 9, 2016. © George Ourfalian, AFP

At the identical time, in July 2016, Mazzen Dabbagh's spouse and daughter had been expelled from their home in Damascus, which was requisitioned by Abdel Salah Mahmoud. Facts “likely to constitute the crimes of war, extortion and concealment of extortion”, in accordance with the prosecution.

For Clémence Bectarte, lawyer for a number of civil events, “all of this contributes to an effort to fight against impunity for the crimes of the Syrian regime, all the more essential as this fight for justice is also a fight for the truth.”

“We tend to forget that the regime’s crimes are still being committed today,” warns the lawyer. This trial serves as a reminder that “we must under no circumstances normalize relations with the regime of Bashar al-Assad.”

With AFP