Head of the Syrian Coalition’s Commission on the Detainees and Missing Persons Yasser Al-Farhan said that the prosecution of the Assad regime’s criminals begun in France today with the issuance of arrest warrants for three senior criminals and security officials.
French newspaper Le Monde on Monday reported that French prosecutors issued international arrest warrants for three senior Syrian intelligence and Assad regime officials, including security chief Ali Mamlouk, for collusion in war crimes. Mamlouk, one of Bashar al-Assad’s most senior advisers, was targeted by the order alongside Jamil Hassan, the head of Airforce Intelligence who is already the subject of a German warrant.
Another senior Airforce Intelligence official, Abdel Salam Mahmoud, who lawyers say heads a detention facility at Mazzah military airport in Damascus, was named in the order, Le Monde said.
Le Monde reported that the decision was part of a long-running lawsuit that the French judiciary has been investigating since 2016, relating to issues of the forced disappearance of some Syrians carrying the French nationality. Assad’s intelligence services had arrested Franco-Syrian Mazen Dabagh and his son Patrick in November 2013 after the two participated in an anti-regime peaceful demonstration.
Mazen and Patrick were tortured by Abdel Salam Mahmoud who later seized their house in Mazzah and is still living there, according to an informed source.
Farhan commended the efforts of Syrians who filed lawsuits against Assad regime’s criminals before the French judiciary, calling on Syrians in Europe and the US as well as every country with an independent judiciary to file lawsuits against Assad and his terrorist cronies. He said that such move would tighten the noose on the Assad regime officials and prevent them from leaving the country thus ensuring that they will face just trial when time allows.
The French judicial inquiry was based on documents known as "Caesar", the pseudonym given to a photographer of the Syrian military police who fled his country in July 2013 carrying with him some 50,000 photos of corpses of prisoners who died of hunger, disease or torture in the jails of the Assad regime between 2011 and 2013.
Mamlouk was previously accused of attempting to organize bombings in Lebanon in 2015 following the arrest of former Lebanese minister Michel Samaha with explosives in his car brought in from Syria. He held several positions in the intelligence and security apparatus and is widely considered as Assad’s most trusted and closest aide. He is usually trusted by Assad to act as his special representative in both public and secret talks. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition condemned the assassination of Sheikh Bashir al-Faisal al-Huwaidi, leader of the Al-Afadlah tribe in the city of Raqqa on Friday (November 2).
In a press release issued on Sunday, the Coalition emphasized the importance of uncovering the circumstances of the crime as it stressed that those responsible must be held accountable, including those who ordered, planned and executed the crime.
The Coalition added that “the meetings Huwaidi held shortly before his assassination suggests that terrorist elements occupying the region are behind the crime.”
“Huwaidi was known for his early support of the revolution and the Syrian people’s demands for freedom and dignity. He was also strongly opposed to the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown of the revolution from day one. He intervened on many occasions to spare Syrian’s blood, help the local community, and urge people to show wisdom.”
The Coalition went on: “The highly rational stances took by Huwaidi, his commitment to the rights of the Syrian people, his rejection of the presence of the occupiers and terrorists in the province and their intervention in its affairs, his calls for returning the land and property to their original owners and allowing the local people to administer their towns and villages were more than enough reasons for those parties to silence him. Huwaidi’s siding with what is right and his defense of the dignity of the people pitted him against all terrorist and authoritarian parties.”
Tensions broke out between the local population of Raqqa and the militia of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the assassination of Huwaidi despite ISIS’s adoption of the incident. Furat Post news network published a video showing mourners expelling the joint chairwoman of the so-called Raqqa Civilian Council and SDF militiamen from the mourning ceremony. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)