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.