Lawyers seek war crimes case against Assad in Germany

Lawyers seek war crimes case against Assad in Germany
Lawyers Jens Dieckmann, left, and Mehmet Daimagueler announce during a news conference in Berlin, Germany, on Monday that their group is launching a criminal case against Syrian President Bashar Assad over alleged war crimes committed in the city of Aleppo.(Britta Pedersen/dpa via AP)
Updated 28 November 2016

Lawyers seek war crimes case against Assad in Germany

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 prosecutors. 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 Syrian government 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 Syrian government troops had pushed the rebels from al-Qadisia, which it described as the "key neighborhood of eastern Aleppo."
The government'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 government 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.
“Make no mistake about it,” Delattre said. “Bombing Aleppo and its population is not fighting against terrorism, as the regime pretends. ...What the regime and its allies are doing in Aleppo is actually fueling terrorism, it’s fueling radicalization.”
He urged increased political pressure to send “a clear message to the regime and its allies that they must stop their indiscriminate attacks against Syrian people and be accountable.”