Nine Syrian refugees in Sweden filed lawsuits against 25 senior Assad regime officials with the aim of having international arrest warrants issued for them for being involved in “torture in prisons and enforced disappearances.”
These move followed similar action that has already been taken in several European countries, most notably France and Germany. Earlier this month, three former Assad regime security officials suspected of crimes against humanity were arrested in France and Germany.
Germany-based Syrian lawyer Anwar al-Bunni, head of the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research, said that nine Syrians who spent time in Assad regime’s prisons filed lawsuits against 25 senior Assad regime security officers in Stockholm, Sweden on Thursday. The officers are suspected of “torture and enforced disappearance” in four Assad regime’s security branches.
Al-Bunni explained that his Center, in cooperation with the Caesar Group and the Syrian Center for Media Freedom, and with the support of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights as well as the Organization of Civil Rights Defenders in Sweden filed the lawsuits “as another step on the road to justice for Syria.” He noted that Sweden can prosecute war criminals and criminals against humanity under the principle of universal jurisdiction.
Al-Bunni stressed that these centers are continuing their work and filing lawsuits against Assad security officials who have aided or committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria “so that the future of Syria will be free of those criminals who should be behind the bars.”
On 8 July, the Center succeeded in having the first international arrest warrant issued for Major General Jameel al-Hassan, director of the Air Force Intelligence Directorate by German prosecutors on charges of ordering massacres against Syrians.
Al-Bunni described the issuance of the arrest warrant as “the first real step to bring justice to Syria.” He said that the warrants were issued thanks to the efforts of the witnesses, pointing out that they are awaiting other arrest warrants for “the rest of the criminals in Syria, chief among them is Bashar al-Assad.”
On November 5, the French judiciary issued international arrest warrants for three senior Assad regime officers. They are 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. They are senior aides of Assad. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)