Dutch Court Convicts Syrian Pro-Government Fighter of War Crimes


A district court in The Hague has convicted a former member of a Syrian pro-government armed group for complicity in torture and illegal arrest in Syria and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

The court said the defendant, identified in court only as Mustafa A, was a leading member of the Liwa al-Quds, or the Jerusalem Brigade, an armed group comprised mostly of Palestinian refugees living in Syria and founded during the early years of Syria’s more than 12-year war.

Mustafa was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity for complicity in torture, inhumane treatment and illegal arrest, and for membership of a criminal organization. The January 22 judgement marks the first time a Dutch court has convicted someone for crimes committed while fighting on the side of President Bashar al-Assad’s government during the war in Syria.

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