Dutch police arrest Syrian militia member on war crimes charges
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Dutch police arrest Syrian militia member on war crimes charges

The Netherlands Public Prosecution Service Tuesday arrested a 34-year-old Syrian man accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes during in the Syrian Civil War. The unnamed suspect is reported to have served in the state-aligned Liwa al-Quds militia during the ongoing conflict. According to prosecutors, the suspect, along with other members of the militia, allegedly arrested and tortured a civilian in January, 2013. The suspect applied for asylum in the Netherlands in 2020.

The Prosecution Service said in its press release:

The Syrian government and militias have committed widespread violations of human rights and the law of war, according to the United Nations. The militias were an important link in a widespread and systematic attack on the civilian population. They were used, for example, in the crackdown on demonstrations of civilians, and to arrest civilians. According to the Public Prosecution Service, Liwa al-Quds can be classified as a criminal organization that is aimed at committing international crimes.

The suspect will make his first court appearance in The Hague on Friday.

This arrest comes after a string of convictions related to the Syrian Civil War. In March a Swedish Court sentenced a woman to six years in prison for allowing her son to become a child soldier. A Syrian colonel was sentenced to life in prison in January by a German court for the murder, abuse and torture of protesters jailed for their roles in Syria’s 2011 protests. In September 2021 Germany’s Federal Court of Justice upheld the conviction of a Free Syrian Army and ISIS member for illegally executing a prisoner of war and joining ISIS.