Syrian rebel spokesperson can stand trial for war crimes in France
A French court has dismissed attempts by the spokesperson of a Syrian Islamist rebel group to prevent his prosecution for war crimes and torture, clearing the way for him to stand trial.
Majdi Nema – also known as Islam Alloush – was a spokesperson for the Jaish al Islam rebel faction, a Salafist group that was once considered one of the strongest armed opposition groups in Syria.
Nema was arrested in 2020 after he travelled to France to study.
⚡️Breaking:— Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (@SyrianCenter) April 4, 2022
The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the jurisdiction in Majdi Nema case. it rejected all the nullities that had been invoked by Nema's defence, which had argued that 🇫🇷justice did not have jurisdiction over war crimes & torture. https://t.co/rQm0KYnccy pic.twitter.com/VbQqRnRHVL
Nema can stand trial in France under the principle of universal jurisdiction after a French court ruled that prosecutors can pursue those who have committed serious crimes without having any links to France.
“This is excellent news for civil parties,” said Mazen Darwish, the Director of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression according to a statement on the website.
“We now hope that a trial can be held in France that can shed light on the fate of the Douma Four and provide justice to the Syrian victims,” he added.
Jaish al-Islam has been accused of kidnapping and torturing human rights activits, most notably Samira al-Khalil, Razan Zaitouneh, Wael Hammadeh, and Nazem Hammadi – known as the Douma Four – who were kidnapped from their place of work and have never been seen since.
It is one of several rebel factions that were fighting against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and was active in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.