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France court convicts Syrian officials of crimes against humanity

On 24 May the Paris Criminal Court convicted three high-ranking Syrian senior officials for their role in the imprisonment, enforced disappearance, and torture of two dual Syrian-French Citizens, Patrick Dabbagh and his Father Mazzen. 

In 2013, Mazzen and Patrick Dabbagh were arbitrarily arrested by the Syrian authorities and taken to the Mezzeh military airport detention center. After five years, their family received two death certificates stating their deaths in 2014 and 2017.

French judges concluded that the enforced disappearance, imprisonment, and torture committed by Syrian officials Abdel Salem Mahmoud, Ali Mamlouk, and Jamil Hassan amounted to war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Ali Mamlouk is a close advisor to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and the former head of the National Security Bureau, Jamil Hassan is the former head of the Syrian Air Force intelligence service, and Abdel Salam Mahmoud is the former head of investigations of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence in Mezzeh military airport in Damascus. 

The trial followed a seven-year investigation carried out by the war crimes unit of the Paris Judicial Court. The three officials were tried in absentia. 

Human Rights Watch emphasized that the French court case “serves as a sharp reminder to the Assad government that scrutiny of its long list of abuses will continue.”

Read more here


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