French investigators call for trial of Syrian regime officials for war crimes and crimes against humanity

PARIS — French criminal investigators have called for the first trial for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Syria by three senior officials of the Syrian regime — Major General Ali Mamlouk, Major General Jamil Hassan, and Major General Abdel Salam Mahmoud — who are high-ranking intelligence officers and close to the head of the regime, Bashar al-Assad.

The officials are likely to be tried in absentia for the murder of two citizens, namely Mazen Dabbagh and his son Patrick, who hold Syrian and French nationality.

The Dabbaghs were arrested by the Syrian regime in 2013, and their deaths were announced in 2018 after torture and inhumane abuse against them, according to the data contained in the prosecution document.

The French Public Prosecution Office opened a preliminary investigation in 2015, and then a judicial investigation was opened in cases of enforced disappearance and acts of torture following a complaint by Mazen’s brother, Obeida Dabbagh, in 2016, with the official support of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Syrian Media Center, and Human Rights League.

FIDH stated that more than 20 Syrians have given their testimonies before the French courts, most of whom are survivors of the Mezzeh Military Prison.

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedoms has also actively supported the legal procedures to reveal testimonies, providing information about the chain of command and the structure of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence at the time of the disappearance of Patrick and Mazen Dabbagh.

The statement declared that this result would not have been achieved without the courage and determination of the Syrian men and women who agreed to testify before the French courts to tell the horrific truth about the crimes committed in the prisons of Bashar al-Assad at a time when it seems that the Syrian regime is getting away with impunity for all the atrocities it committed.