[JURIST] A Swedish court sentenced Syrian refugee Mouhannad Droub to five years in prison after convicting him of abusing a captured member of President Bashar Assad’s [BBC backgrounder] forces. Droub was part of a group under the Free Syrian Army, where he and other members beat a prisoner and posted a video of the abuse on Facebook. Droub received asylum in Sweden in 2013. He was indicted [JURIST report] in the Södertörn District Court [official website] earlier this month. It is the first time that charges in connection with the Syrian conflict have been brought to a Swedish court.
The conflict in Syria [JURIST backgrounder] has continued for several years. In August the UN reported [JURIST report] that 191,000 have died in the Syrian conflict. In May Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] cited evidence [JURIST report] that the Syrian government was using chemical weapons on its own citizens. The UN human rights chief reported [JURIST report] in April that the Syrian government’s human rights abuses have far outweighed those of the rebel fighters in Syria. In June the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria [official website] warned [JURIST report] the UN Human Rights Council that the continuing civil war in Syria conflict has “reached a tipping point, threatening the entire region.” Earlier that month Assad declared [JURIST report] a general amnesty for the country’s prisoners, appearing to apply the decree to at least some anti-government activists and protesters.
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