Statement by a Group of Syrian Civil Society  Organizations Welcoming the Issuance of Arrest  Warrants Against President Bashar al-Assad and Three  Other Generals

On November 14, 2023, French criminal investigative judges have issued arrest warrants for Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, his brother Major General Maher al Assad, de facto leader of the 4th Armored Division, as well as the Director of Branch  450 of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), General Ghassan  Abbas, and Presidential Advisor for Strategic Affairs and liaison officer between the  Presidential Palace and the SSRC, General Bassam al-Hasan on charges of complicity to use banned chemical weapons against civilians in in the town of Douma and the district of Eastern Ghouta in 2013, which resulted in the deaths of more than /1,000/  people. 

The signatory organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and victim associations welcome this unprecedented judicial measure, which is a significant advancement in the pursuit of justice for the victims of such brutal attacks. The issuance of these historical warrants is a direct outcome of the bravery of survivors and their unwavering commitment to justice, as they provided crucial testimonies and information that paved the way for this momentous decision. 

We hope that this landmark judicial decision constitutes a step on the path to justice and sustainable peace in Syria, and serves as a cornerstone in the fight against impunity and the prosecution of those highest responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. This would ensure that the law is upheld and respected by preventing criminals from evading accountability irrespective of any immunity they may enjoy. 

The signatory organizations demand: 

  • Taking the necessary executive measures to ensure the implementation of these warrants and the arrest of suspects to be brought to justice, which would ensure the effectiveness of the steps taken in these judicial procedures, and oppose any attempt to use immunities to escape punishment for crimes committed in Syria or other conflict zones. 
  • Other national judicial authorities to follow the example taken by the French judiciary, and take similar measures regarding other violations committed in  Syria. 
  • The immediate halt of all normalization processes with the Syrian regime taken by some governments. 

These arrest warrants would not have been issued without the courage of the survivors of chemical attacks, whose role in supporting the path of justice deserves all respect and appreciation, so is the step taken by French judges,  which emphasizes the importance of judicial integrity and independence, which we sought to have in future Syria, hoping that we hold all perpetrators of violations accountable before Syrian courts in the future. 

Civil Organizations and Groups Signatories  

  1. Access Center for Human Rights (ACHR) 
  2. Adel Centre For Human rights 
  3. Al Aseel Association for Developmen 
  4. Al baghooz Hope for Development 
  5. Al-Kawakibi Center for Transitional Justice and Human Rights
  6. Alseeraj Sweden 
  7. Amal Alfurat organization  
  8. Amal Healing and Advocacy Center 
  9. Anwar Al Ghad Organization  
  10. Association of Victims of Chemical Weapons 
  11. Badael  
  12. Baladn 
  13. Bassmet Wattan Center 
  14. Baytna 
  15. Be free team 
  16. Better Tomorrow organization 
  17. Caesar Families Association  
  18. Center for Civil Society and Democracy, CCSD 
  19. Center for Extremism Studies 
  20. Change Makers 
  21. Civil Center in Atarb  
  22. Community Solidarity Organization 
  23. Deirna Organization 
  24. Diaa Alamal Association  
  25. Do Not Suffocate The Truth  
  26. Dozana 
  27. Ebdaa organization for Development
  28. Elaf for reilaf and development 
  29. Enma Aljazera organization  
  30. Enmaa 
  31. Enmaa Alfourat  
  32. Environment Protection and Sustainable Development Organization
  33. Eve Humanitarian Association 
  34. Families of Truth and Justice 
  35. Finjan  
  36. Fraternity Foundation for Human Rights -FFHR 
  37. Future Makers Team 
  38. Hajeen organization  
  39. Haneen.alfurat  
  40. Hevy for relief and development 
  41. Holm for Development  
  42. Hooz Center for Social Development 
  44. Hope Makers  
  45. House of Citizenship Organization 
  46. Hurras Network 
  47. Ishtar Development Organization 
  48. Jana Watan 
  49. Jozour Syria Civil Society Organization  
  50. Justice and sustainable development 
  51. Justice-paths 
  52. Kesh Malek 
  53. Khutwa association 
  54. Kurdish Human Rights Committee – Observer 
  55. Kurdish International Committee for Human Rights  
  56. LACU 
  57. Lawyers and Doctors for human rights 
  58. Local Development and Small-Projects Support (LDSPS)
  59. Mihad 
  60. Mnemonic – Syrian Archive 
  61. Multka Alnhren Organization  
  62. Nawras development organization 
  63. Pioneers of peace 
  64. Pro-justice organization  
  65. Quality for Research and Development QRD 
  66. Rising for freedom 
  67. Safe land 
  68. Sanabel Al Furat Development Organization 
  69. Sawaeed Organization for Development  
  70. SEMA 
  71. Sphere organization for Studies and Development S.S.D
  72. Syria Faith initiative  
  73. Syrian American Council (SAC)
  74. Syrian British Consortium 
  75. Syrian center for legal studies and research 
  76. Syrıan Expatriate Medical ASSOCCIATION 
  77. Syrian feminist society 
  78. Syrian Forum 
  79. Syrian Lawyers Aggrigation 
  80. Syrian Swedish Democratic Forum SSDF-Syrisk-Svenska  Demokratiförbundet 
  81. Syrians Gathered  
  82. Taafi initiative  
  83. Tara organization 
  84. TASTAKEL  
  85. Tayif Humanitarian Organization 
  86. The Day After 
  87. The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH)
  88. The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)
  89. The Syrian Legal Development Programme  
  90. The Syrian Swedish Association  
  91. Togther For Aljarnyia 
  92. Tree of Life organization 
  93. Union of Revolutionary Bureaus ( URB) 
  94. Union of syrian coordinations around the world
  95. Vision organization  
  96. Women For Peace 
  97. Women Now for Development  
  98. Women’s Organization for Transitional Justice 
  99. Zahrat alfurat Organization  
  100. Zameen for development and peace-building  
  101. جمعية الأصدقاء للاغاثة والتنمية. 
  102. جمعية ماري للثقافة والفنون والبيئة. 
  103. مركز الدفاع عن الحريات . 
  104. مركز الماسة للدراسات والأبحاث والاستشارات والتحكيم والتدريب . 
  105. منظمة سارا لمناهضة العنف ضد المراة. 
  106. منظمة معا نبني الوطن .