Lebanese lawyer and expert in international law, Tariq Shandab, said that the American judiciary has the jurisdiction to prosecute the Assad regime for the killing of American journalist Marie Colvin in Syria in 2012.
Shandab on Tuesday told Smart News Network that the US court that found the Assad regime liable for Colvin’s death has the external jurisdiction to prosecute criminals. He pointed out that the prosecution can be implemented through a freeze on the assets of the persons involved in Colvin’s death deposited in foreign banks.
Shandab pointed out that the Interpol has the authority to enforce law against those who have been indicted in case international courts failed to take action. He noted that such step could be the beginning of bringing more prosecutions in Washington and other countries against officials of the Assad regime.
Shandab pointed out that some countries give their courts jurisdiction to prosecute crimes against humanity committed outside their borders. He noted that the Caesar law allows the prosecution of persons linked to the Assad regime under the principle of universal jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, US State Department, announced it was pressing for securing support for an investigation into the Assad regime’s crimes following a ruling by the US district court for the District of Columbia that found the Assad regime responsible for the death of the US war correspondent Marie Colvin.
On January 23, the US House of Representatives passed the Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act of 2019 to impose new sanctions on the Assad regime and its supporters. Caesar is the codename of the former military photographer who smuggled about 50,000 photos of 11,000 detainees who were killed under torture in the prisons of the Assad regime.
Moreover, the French judiciary on November 2018 issued international arrest warrants for three senior officials of the Assad regime's intelligence, including the Director of the National Security Ali Mamlouk who is in charge of most of the regime's security services.
A Canadian investigator has collected about one million documents, some of which bear the signature of Bashar al-Assad confirming his responsibility for war crimes in Syria. The documents will be presented to international courts later.
The family of the American journalist Marie Colvin filed a lawsuit before an American court accusing the Assad regime of deliberately killing her. Colvin was killed in sustained artillery barrages by the Assad regime on the apartment building housing the media center in Bab Amr along with French photographer Remi Ochlik back in 2012. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition’s Department of Syrian Communities Abroad held a teleconference with representatives of the Syrian community in Romania and discussed with them the latest political and on the ground developments in Syria.
Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition Badr Jamous gave an overview of the latest political developments in Syria, most importantly the planned US withdrawal from Syria, the establishment of a safe zone, the beginning of the work of the new UN envoy Geir Pedersen, and the issue of the Constitutional Committee.
Jamous stressed that the Coalition is committed to meeting the demands of the Syrian people for freedom and dignity as well as achieving a transition to new political system in accordance with international resolutions, most notably the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council Resolution 2254. He stressed that Constitutional Committee can serve as a gateway to a credible political process provided that this Committee meets the international standards of “credibility, inclusivity, and balance.”
Head of the Department of Syrian Communities Abroad, Mohammad Yahya Maktabi, spoke about the necessity of activating the work of the Syrian communities in all countries around the world, especially with regards to raising the issue of the Assad regime war crimes’ against the Syrian civilians as these communities are considered civil society organizations.
Maktabi called for the holding of regular meetings between the two sides in order to coordinate positions and stances as very important especially in the arrangement of activities in the issue of human rights and the sacrifices the Syrian people are making order to regain freedom and dignity.
For their part, representatives of the Syrian community in Romania reiterated their commitment to the goals and principles of the Syrian revolution, bringing about a genuine political transition, and the establishment of a new ruling system based on justice and equality.
The representatives said they stood ready to work with the Syrian Coalition on all activities and events related to the Syrian revolution, especially with regards to raising the issue of the Assad regime’s war crimes against Syrian civilians. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A former detainee who have been recently released from the notorious Sednaya Prison near Damascus gave a harrowing account of the systematic torture being endured by detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime and which led to the deaths of tens of thousands. He also gave the names of dozens of detainees who he said were are still alive at the time of his release.
Muawiya al-Hajji, who was released three months ago following five years imprisonment, spoke about the atrocities taking place against the detainees. In a post he published on Facebook on Monday, al-Hajji gave the names of 65 detainees who are still held in the Sednaya Prison near Damascus. He apologized for the delay in publishing the list of names.
Al-Hajji said that he knew many detainees who died under torture in the facility. On late January, activists said that two young men from the same family, Kassem and Zakaria Tlass, were killed under torture in the prisons of the Assad regime.
The Department of Civil Registry in the city of Homs gave the father of the two young men death certificates for his sons when he visited the Department to obtain identification papers.
Rights group describe the Assad regime-run prisons as human slaughterhouses in which detainees are usually subjected to systematic, brutal tortured and inhumane treatment. Thousands of Syrians have died under torture in Sednaya Prison and other detention facilities run by the Assad regime.
The scale of torture was revealed when former military photographer codenamed Caesar smuggled about 50,000 photos of 11,000 detainees who were killed under torture in the prisons of the Assad regime after he defected from the regime.
In a report issued on June 26, 2018, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that more than 13,000 people were killed under torture in Syria, the overwhelming majority of whom were killed by the Assad regime.
The Network said that at least 81,652 Syrian citizens were forcibly disappeared by the Assad regime alone in the period between March 2011 and June 2018.
Rights activists repeatedly called on the international community to exert pressure on the Assad regime to force it to disclose the fate of hundreds of thousands of detainees and those who have been forcibly disappeared in its prisons. They said that the international community bears responsibility for the rampant torture in Syria as it has so far failed to hold the Assad regime accountable for the death of tens of thousands of detainees in its prisons. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)