French authorities investigating documents linked to Syria regime's Tadamon massacre
French judicial authorities told AFP on Wednesday they are studying documents that appear show evidence of a massacre committed by Syrian regime forces in the Damascus neighbourhood of Tadamon almost a decade ago.
The news follows an announcement from the French foreign ministry on Friday that it had received documents including "numerous photographs and videos" relating to the Tadamon massacre, in which dozens of detainees of the Syrian regime were killed in April 2013.
"The collection of these documents is the result of the determined work of several human rights defenders, whose courage we salute," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said it had given the documents to the National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor's office to be looked at further.
"The facts alleged are likely to constitute the most serious international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity and war crimes," the foreign ministry said.
The National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor's office told AFP that the documents are being looked at to determine "whether they fall within the ongoing investigations or require the opening of a separate investigation".
One of the chief suspects in the massacre, Amjad Youssef, is being held in Syrian regime detention, a leading Syria monitor confirmed to The New Arab in May.
Footage of the massacre that emerged earlier this year appeared to show Youssef, an officer in the Syrian military's notorious Branch 227 intelligence agency, pushing a man into a hole filled with bodies.
The videos show the killing of at least 41 civilians at the mass grave - though as many as 288 people, including women and children, may have been murdered.
More than 500,000 people have died in Syria since conflict broke out in 2011 following the suppression of pro-democracy protests. The Syrian regime has murdered many thousands of civilians.