Syria: claims abroad against the Assad regime

The syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, including two former members of the intelligence services will be presented from Thursday in Germany for “crimes against humanity”, is the target of several investigations, particularly in France.

The trial in Koblenz (west Germany) Anwar Raslan and Eyad al-Gharib, arrested in February 2019, is the first in the world regarding abuses linked to the Assad regime.

The UN has set up a database on crimes committed during the war which started in 2011.


In march 2017, seven Syrians claiming to have been victims of torture and refugees for the most part in Germany, to file a complaint against officials of the syrian secret services with the justice.

According to the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), these Syrians have all suffered or witnessed torture in the jails of the secret service in Damascus.

In September 2017, the NGO says that about 27 000 original photos exfiltrées of Syria by “Caesar,” a former photographer for the military police, who ran off in 2013 with 55,000 photographs of bodies tortured in the prisons of the regime, have been submitted to the German courts.

The ECCHR announcement two months later that the two new remedies for crimes against humanity and war crimes have been filed by 13 Syrians for torture. The complaints seek 17 senior officials, including the minister of Defence and the military prosecutor, accused of being responsible for the abuses committed at the prison of Saydnaya, near Damascus.

In June 2018, German weekly Der Spiegel says that the justice has launched an international arrest warrant against Jamil Hassan, a former boss (until 2019) of the dreaded intelligence services of the syrian air, suspected “crimes against humanity”.


In mid-September 2015, the parquet de Paris open a preliminary investigation for “crimes against humanity”, aimed of the facts of abductions and torture committed by the Assad regime.

At the end of October 2016, a justice source says that French judges will investigate abuses attributed to the regime, the public prosecutor of Paris decided to open a judicial inquiry into the disappearance of two Franco-Syrian arrested in Syria in 2013, and never give any sign of life.

According to the complainants, the victims, Mazen Dabbagh, aged 57, and his son Patrick, 22 years old, were arrested by officers declaring to belong to the intelligence services of the army of the air.

In November 2018, a justice source indicates that a French investigating judge has launched international arrest warrants against three senior officials of the regime, suspected of being involved in abuses, including having referred to these two citizens.

It is the ex-intelligence chief, now director of the office of national security Ali Mamlouk, Jamil Hassan, and the director of the branch of Bab Touma (Damascus) of the intelligence service of the army air forces, Abdel Salam Mahmoud.

In February 2019, Abdulhamid C., an ex-soldier suspected of complicity in crimes against humanity, is arrested in France, the same day that two ex-members of secret services arrested in Germany. He was released under judicial control in February 2020, because of lack of evidence against him, according to his lawyers.


In July 2017, the justice dismisses the complaint filed by a citizen of syrian origin against nine senior officials of the regime for the forced detention, torture and execution of alleged of his brother in 2013.

“International mechanism”

From April 2018, a united nations body, the “international Mechanism tasked with facilitating the investigations on the most serious violations of international law committed in Syria since march 2011,” says a compilation of evidence to facilitate any judgments of their leaders.

Established at the end of 2016 by the general Assembly of the united nations, this organization, which claims to be independent and impartial, and holds more than a million items – documents, photographs, videos, satellite images, statements of victims and witnesses and documents that are not classified.

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