Victims of Assad government’s chemical attacks file case in Sweden

Four NGOs have announced that they have filed a criminal complaint in Sweden against members of the Assad government over chemical weapons attacks in 2013 and 2017.

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The Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), Civil Rights Defenders, Syrian Archive (SA), and the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) have filed a complaint in Sweden indicating that the Assad government used chemical weapons in attacks on the opposition-held towns of Ghouta in 2013 and Khan Sheikhoun in 2017. Hundreds of civilians, including children, were killed.

“By filing the complaint, we want to support the victims’ struggle for truth and justice,” Hadi al-Khatib, founder and director of Syrian Archive, held in a report.

“We hope that a Swedish investigation into these crimes will eventually result in trials and convictions of those who ordered and carried out these attacks. Sweden can and should contribute to putting an end to the current state of impunity in Syria,” he added. Accusations of war crimes can be investigated by Swedish police irrespective of where they were committed.

However, the Assad regime argues against ever using chemical weapons towards its own civilians in the sequence of conflict with opposition forces.

The Syrian Civil War, which began in 2011, has largely subsided with Assad having recuperated control of most key territory with Russian and Iranian military support.

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