Amnesty: Arrest Warrants for Assad Regime Officials an ‘Important Step Towards Justice’
Amnesty international described the French judiciary’s issuance of arrest warrants for three senior Assad regime security and intelligence officials as "an important step towards delivering justice for the countless victims of gross human rights violations carried out by the Syrian government.” It called on the international community to follow France’s lead by taking steps to end impunity in Syria and hold all perpetrators of these crimes to account.”
Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research Anna Neistat on Monday said: “With war crimes and crimes against humanity continuing to go unpunished in Syria, it is vital that all states cooperate to ensure justice for victims. This includes enforcing universal and other forms of jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute, in their own courts, suspected perpetrators of atrocities.”
“The international community should follow France’s lead by taking steps, wherever possible, to end impunity in the Syria conflict and hold all parties to account,” Neistat added.
Amnesty International called on international leaders to support a UN Security Council referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, and to cooperate fully with the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to assist in investigating and prosecuting crimes under international law in Syria.
President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa on Tuesday called on the international community to increase efforts to hold accountable perpetrators of war crimes in Syria as key to reaching a real political solution.
The wanted Assad regime officials have been named as director of the National Security Bureau Ali Mamlouk; head of Airforce Intelligence Jamil Hassan, and head of the Air Force Intelligence Investigative Branch at Mazzah military airport, Abdel Salam Mahmoud.
The arrest warrants were issued following a case filed in France in 2016 by Obeida Dabbagh, whose brother and nephew, Mazen and Patrick Abdelkader Dabbagh, dual Syrian-French nationals, were arrested and forcibly disappeared by Syrian Airforce Intelligence in Damascus in November 2013.
In July 2018, the Dabbagh family obtained documents from the Assad regime indicating that Mazen and Patrick had died in November 2017 and January 2014 respectively. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)