Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Is Bashar Assad a criminal?

Bashar Assad; Credit: Social media

The head of the Syrian regime Bashar Assad is an ideal case for determining responsibility, as he is not only the “president” of the republic, but also the commander of the armed forces and head of the Supreme Judicial Council, in addition to every single high authority in the country. Assad is a god with a human appearance and manifestation, according to his own “constitution.”

Assad is considered to be Syria, not just a Syrian public servant. In the minds of every member of the Assad cult, everyone who objects to this principle is a terrorist and a traitor to the homeland as he is synonymous with it. It was Assad’s elevated status that allowed him to push his army to annihilate the Syrian people who took to the streets to demand freedom.

The Rome Statute of July 17, 1998 defines the most serious offenses as follows: a) The crime of genocide, b) crimes against humanity, c) war crimes, and d) crimes of aggression. Assad is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, involved in all four kinds of crimes. The proof of this is immense and available for every judicial body interested in bringing him to justice.

In the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court, the military commander or person acting as military commander (Assad is the supreme leader of the Syrian armed forces) is criminally responsible for crimes within the Court’s jurisdiction committed by forces under his/her effective command and control or the effective authority and control, as the case may be, as a result of a military commander or person’s failure to exercise proper control over such forces:

the Syrian “president” is responsible for issuing all the orders that resulted in killing, injuring, detaining, or torturing Syrians

1. If that military commander or person has learned, or is presumed to have known because of the circumstances prevailing at the time, that the forces were committing or were about to commit such crimes.

2. If that military commander or person does not take all measures necessary and reasonable within his/her authority to prevent or suppress the commission of such crimes or to bring the matter to the attention of the competent authorities for investigation and prosecution (negligence).

Thus, the Syrian “president” is responsible for issuing all the orders that resulted in killing, injuring, detaining, or torturing Syrians (certainly more than one million), let alone the millions of displaced persons.

No criminal loyal to Assad has ever been held accountable inside Syria for a crime perpetrated for the sake of Assad

Assad is also responsible for the crimes committed by his subordinates under his effective authority and control, even by just learning about them or ignoring any information that clearly indicates that his subordinates committed, or are about to commit, such crimes.

No criminal loyal to Assad has ever been held accountable inside Syria for a crime perpetrated for the sake of Assad. History has shown that those who do are more likely to be promoted and protected. The more blood one sheds for the survival of Assad, the higher you go in the hierarchy of the regime apparatus.

Assad (with the help of his associates) is the most notorious embodiment of a crystal-clear case of a mass murderer committing crimes in broad daylight, live on TV screens

Assad has not taken any necessary and reasonable measures within his authority to prevent or suppress the commission of such crimes, or to bring the matter to the attention of the competent authorities for investigation and prosecution.

In short, Assad (with the help of his associates) is the most notorious embodiment of a crystal-clear case of a mass murderer committing crimes in broad daylight, live on TV screens. Yet, to date, no serious effort has been exerted to bring him to a court of law.

Hussen HAMMADEH
Hussen HAMMADEH
Former Syrian judge

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