|Date: Nov 6, 2018|
|France issues warrants for Mamlouk, other Syrian officials|
|BEIRUT: France issued international arrest warrants Monday for three senior Syrian intelligence officials on counts of “complicity in crimes against humanity,” in a case involving two French-Syrian nationals. Among those targeted is National Security Bureau Director Ali Mamlouk, who oversees the entire Syrian security apparatus and is one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s most senior advisers. The other high-ranking officials being sought include head of the Syrian air force’s Intelligence Directorate Jamil Hassan, already the subject of a German arrest warrant, and head of the air force’s Intelligence Investigative Branch at Mezzeh military airport, Abdel-Salam Mahmoud.|
The warrants stem from a long-running case involving two French-Syrian nationals, Mazen and Patrick Dabbagh. The father and son were forcibly disappeared after their arrest by Syrian air force intelligence in Damascus in November 2013.
The Dabbagh family learned over the summer that the pair had died in prison after their names appeared on a list of names released by Damascus of deaths in government detention. It is estimated that more than 80,000 people have been subjected to enforced disappearance by the regime since the start of the conflict.
Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research Anna Neistat said in a statement that the arrest warrants were an “important step toward delivering justice for the countless victims of gross human rights violations carried out by the Syrian government.”
“The international community should follow France’s lead by taking steps, wherever possible, to end impunity in the Syria conflict and hold all parties to account,” she said.
But there is little prospect of accountability on an international level, as Syria is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court and Russia continues to block its referral by the U.N. Security Council.