German Prosecutors Charge Two Syrians with War Crimes

Fri Dec 22 2023
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BERLIN: German federal prosecutors said on Friday that they had charged two Syrian nationals with “war crimes” committed in Damascus a decade ago as part of the ISIS group.

The two men, identified as Mohammad A. and Asmael K. per German privacy rules, were apprehended in March and are accused of membership of a foreign terror group and “hostage-taking resulting in death.”

Asmael K. was also accused of murder and killing people protected under international law.

Mohammad A. is believed to have joined the ISIS at the latest in 2013 and served as a commander of two hundred fighters, western media reported.

Prosecutors said in a statement that at the end of 2013, Mohammad A. together with the ISIS fighting unit in his command kidnapped two opponents of the organization.

The victims were held at a detention center of the ISIS and later “executed” with ten other prisoners.

Asmael K. is alleged to have joined ISIS as a fighter in 2013 and taken part in the kidnapping in question.

He is also accused of guarding the twelve prisoners at the site where they were killed and shooting at least one person.

A court in the western city of Duesseldorf will now rule whether the two men, who are in custody, will go to trial.

Syrian refugees’ influx into Germany

Germany let in hundreds of thousands of Syrians during the 2015-16 refugee influx and has apprehended several Syrians on its soil over crimes committed in their country.

German authorities have previously used the universal jurisdiction principle, which allows the prosecution of certain grave crimes regardless of where they took place, to try Syrian citizens over atrocities committed during the country’s civil war.

One of the most high-profile cases to be brought to the court was that of a former Syrian colonel who was found guilty in January last year of crimes against humanity committed in Damascus.

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