Lawyers seek war crimes case against As­sad in Ger­many


BER­LIN: A group of lawyers are seek­ing to launch a crim­i­nal case in Ger­many against Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad over al­leged war crimes com­mit­ted in the city of Aleppo.

The lawyers on Mon­day pre­sented a crim­i­nal com­plaint against As­sad, which they are sub­mit­ting to Ger­man fed­eral prose- cu­tors. Ger­man law al­lows pros­e­cu­tions un­der the prin­ci­ple of univer­sal ju­ris­dic­tion, un­der which coun­tries can pur­sue for­eign­ers for crimes com­mit­ted abroad.

The lawyers cited Amnesty In­ter­na­tional re­ports and in­di­vid­ual ac­counts by asy­lum-seek­ers in Ger­many in ar­gu­ing that there is over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence of mul­ti­ple atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by As­sad in Aleppo be­tween April and Novem­ber.

At­tor­ney Mehmet Daimag­uler said: “We’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing geno­cide in Aleppo in slow mo­tion.”

He cited the tar­geted bomb­ing of hos­pi­tals, clus­ter bombs on civil­ians and forced ex­pul­sion.

Rus­sia’s De­fense Min­istry says As­sad regime’s troops have cap­tured 10 neigh­bor­hoods and over 3,000 build­ings from rebels in Aleppo.

The min­istry said in a state­ment on Mon­day that more than 100 rebels have laid down their weapons and ex­ited the Syr­ian city’s east­ern sub­urbs. The min­istry also said the As­sad regime’s troops had pushed the rebels from Al- Qa­disia, which it de­scribed as the “key neigh­bor­hood of east­ern Aleppo.”

The As­sad regime’s push, backed by thou­sands of Shi­ite mili­tia fight­ers from Le­banon, Iraq, and Iran, and un­der the oc­ca­sional cover of the Rus­sian air force, has laid waste to Aleppo’s east­ern neigh­bor­hoods.

In mid-Novem­ber, France’s UN am­bas­sador had ear­lier said at­tacks against med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties in Syria by the As­sad regime and its al­lies amounted to war crimes.

Fran­cois De­lat­tre strongly con­demned re­newed airstrikes tar­get­ing three hos­pi­tals in Syria since mid-Novem­ber and killing dozens if peo­ple in Aleppo, in­clud­ing chil­dren.

He told re­porters at UN head­quar­ters in New York that the sit­u­a­tion in Aleppo and else­where in Syria is get­ting worse ev­ery day.

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