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Friday, May 24, 2024

Former Syrian army general set to face trial in Stockholm

Former Syrian army general is set to face trial in Stockholm for his alleged role in war crimes committed during the turbulent year of 2012

A former Syrian army general, Mohammed Hamo, is set to face trial in Stockholm for his alleged role in war crimes committed during the turbulent year of 2012. The indictment, seen by AFP, details the accusations against Hamo, who now resides in Sweden. The charges revolve around indiscriminate strikes in and around the cities of Hama and Homs, raising questions about adherence to international law and the principles of proportionality.

Background

The Syrian conflict, ignited in 2011 by the repression of peaceful anti-government protests, has evolved into a devastating war between Bashar Assad’s regime and various armed opposition groups, including the notorious Islamic State. The toll on human lives has been staggering, with more than half a million people losing their lives in the protracted conflict.

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The Accusations

Hamo, aged 65, stands accused of actively participating in the call for indiscriminate strikes between January 1 and July 20, 2012. The strikes, conducted by air and land, allegedly violated international law by failing to distinguish between civilian and military targets. The indictment emphasizes that the actions taken did not adhere to the principle of proportionality necessary to achieve the military objectives pursued during that period.

Prosecutor’s Perspective

Prosecutor Karolina Wieslander sheds light on the case, highlighting Hamo’s complicity in the alleged crimes due to his role at the time. As a key decision-maker regarding arming operational units and overseeing various military operations, Hamo is held responsible for the actions that transpired during this tumultuous period. The trial aims to bring accountability to those accused of committing war crimes and seeks justice for the victims.

Testimonies from Civil Parties

Seven civil parties, including individuals from the affected cities, are expected to provide crucial testimonies during the trial. Among them is a British photographer who sustained injuries during one of the indiscriminate strikes. Their firsthand accounts will add a human dimension to the proceedings, emphasizing the impact of such alleged war crimes on innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.

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The trial of Mohammed Hamo highlights the global pursuit of justice for war crimes committed during the Syrian conflict. As the international community watches, the proceedings in Stockholm hold the potential to set a precedent for holding individuals accountable for their actions in times of conflict. The case not only seeks justice for the victims but also sends a strong message about the importance of upholding international humanitarian laws even in the midst of chaos and conflict.