Statement by a Group of Syrian Civil Society Organizations Welcoming the Issuance of Arrest Warrants Against President Bashar al-Assad and Three other Generals

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On November 14, 2023, French criminal investigative judges have issued arrest warrants for Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, his brother Major General Maher al- Assad, de facto leader of the 4th Armored Division, as well as the Director of Branch 450 of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), General Ghassan Abbas, and Presidential Advisor for Strategic Affairs and liaison officer between the Presidential Palace and the SSRC, General Bassam al-Hasan on charges of complicity to use banned chemical weapons against civilians in in the town of Douma and the district of Eastern Ghouta in 2013, which resulted in the deaths of more than /1,000/ people.

The signatory organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and victim associations welcome this unprecedented judicial measure, which is a significant advancement in the pursuit of justice for the victims of such brutal attacks. The issuance of these historical warrants is a direct outcome of the bravery of survivors and their unwavering commitment to justice, as they provided crucial testimonies and information that paved the way for this momentous decision.

We hope that this landmark judicial decision constitutes a step on the path to justice and sustainable peace in Syria, and serves as a cornerstone in the fight against impunity and the prosecution of those highest responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. This would ensure that the law is upheld and respected by preventing criminals from evading accountability irrespective of any immunity they may enjoy.

The signatory organizations demand:

–  Taking the necessary executive measures to ensure the implementation of these warrants and the arrest of suspects to be brought to justice, which would ensure the effectiveness of the steps taken in these judicial procedures, and oppose any attempt to use immunities to escape punishment for crimes committed in Syria or other conflict zones.

– Other national judicial authorities to follow the example taken by the French judiciary, and take similar measures regarding other violations committed in Syria.

– The immediate halt of all normalization processes with the Syrian regime taken by some governments.

These arrest warrants would not have been issued without the courage of the survivors of chemical attacks, whose role in supporting the path of justice deserves all respect and appreciation, so is the step taken by French judges, which emphasizes the importance of judicial integrity and independence, which we sought to have in future Syria, hoping that we hold all perpetrators of violations accountable before Syrian courts in the future.

 Civil Organizations and Groups Signatories

  1. AccessCenterforHumanRights(ACHR)
  2. AdelCentreForHumanrights
  3. AlAseelAssociationforDevelopmen
  4. AlbaghoozHopeforDevelopment
  5. Al-KawakibiCenterforTransitionalJusticeandHumanRights
  6. AlseerajSweden
  7. AmalAlfuratorganization
  8. AmalHealingandAdvocacyCenter
  9. AnwarAlGhadOrganization
  10. Association of Victims of Chemical Weapons
  11. Badael
  12. Baladn
  13. Bassmet Wattan Center
  14. Baytna
  15. Be free team
  16. Better Tomorrow organization
  17. Caesar Families Association
  18. Center for Civil Society and Democracy, CCSD
  19. Center for Extremism Studies
  20. Change Makers
  21. Civil Center in Atarb
  22. Community Solidarity Organization
  23. Deirna Organization
  24. Diaa Alamal Association
  25. Do Not Suffocate The Truth
  26. Dozana
  27. Ebdaa organization for Development
  28. Elaf for reilaf and development
  29. Enma Aljazera organization
  30. Enmaa
  31. Enmaa Alfourat
  32. Environment Protection and Sustainable Development Organization
  33. Eve Humanitarian Association
  34. Families of Truth and Justin
  35. Finjan
  36. Fraternity Foundation for Human Rights -FFHR
  37. Future Makers Team
  38. Hajeen organization
  39. Haneen.alfurat
  40. .Hevy for relief and development
  41. Holm for Development
  42. Hooz Center for Social Development
  43. HOPE LINKS for DEVELOPMENT
  44. Hope Makers
  45. House of Citizenship Organization
  46. Hurras Network
  47. Ishtar Development Organization
  48. Jana Watan
  49. Jozour Syria civil Society Organization
  50. Justice and sustainable development
  51. Justice-paths
  52. Kesh Malek
  53. Khutwa association
  54. Kurdish Human Rights Committee – Observer
  55. Kurdish International Committee for Human Rights
  56. LACU
  57. Lawyers and Doctors for human rights
  58. Local Development and Small-Projects Support (LDSPS)
  59. Mihad
  60. Mnemonic – Syrian Archive
  61. Multka Alnhren Organization
  62. Nawras development organization
  63. Pioneers of peace
  64. Pro-justice organization
  65. Quality for Research and Development QRD
  66. Rising for freedom
  67. Safe land
  68. Sanabel Al Furat Development Organization
  69. Sawaeed Organization for Development
  70. SEMA
  71. Sphere organization for Studies and Development S.S.D
  72. Syria Faith initiative
  73. Syrian American Council (SAC)
  74. Syrian British Consortium
  75. Syrian center for legal studies and research
  76. Syrıan Expatriate Medical ASSOCCIATION
  77. Syrian feminist society
  78. Syrian Forum
  79. Syrian Lawyers Aggrigation
  80. Syrian Swedish Democratic Forum SSDF-Syrisk-Svenska Demokratiförbundet
  81. Syrians Gathered
  82. Taafi initiative
  83. Tara organization
  84. TASTAKEL
  85. Tayif Humanitarian Organization
  86. The Day After
  87. The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH)
  88. The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)
  89. The Syrian Legal Development Programme
  90. The Syrian Swedish Assosiation
  91. Togther For Aljarnyia
  92. Tree of Life organization
  93. Union of Revolutionary Bureaus ( URB)
  94. Union of syrian coordinations around the world
  95. Vision organization
  96. Women For Peace
  97. Women Now for Development
  98. Women’s Organization for Transitional Justice
  99. Zahrat alfurat Organization
  100. Zameen for development and peace bulding

جمعية الأصدقاء للاغاثة والتنمية .101

جمعية ماري للثقافة والفنون والبيئة .102

مركز الدفاع عن الحريات .103

مركز الماسة للدراسات والأبحاث والإستشارات والتحكيم والتدريب .104

منظمة سارا لمناهضة العنف ضد المراة .105

منظمة معا نبني الوطن .106

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