Sweden prosecutes Syrian asylum seeker accused of committing war crimes

The suspect, centre, in court on Thursday. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

“He purports to be a Syrian citizen and has travelled to Sweden. The case is based on information and images that have appeared on the internet,” prosecutor Reena Devgun told the Swedish local TT agency. 

Local media reported that the hearing was held “behind closed doors”.

The prosecutor said that the man, who has recently applied for asylum in Sweden, admits he has worked for the Assad regime in Syria, “but denies taking part in any violence or fighting”.

“All I can say is that he’s been on the Syrian army’s side, and he denies any criminal offence,” the agency quoted his defence lawyer Johan Åkermark as saying. 

The Stockholm District Court has remanded the man in custody while the investigation continues.

In the meantime, the Swedish radio reported that the suspect, who had arrived in Sweden last July seeking asylum, is believed to have committed what it called “the offense” at some point “between March 2012 and July 2015”.

“It is one single incident, but we have not been able to establish exactly when it took place,” prosecutor Reena Devgun said. “These are crimes that are difficult to investigate and we are not able to travel to Syria. But the conflict is well-documented and it is possible to collect information.” 

Last year, around 163,000 asylum seekers arrived to Sweden. More than 50,000 of them were registered as Syrians who have escaped their war-torn country.

By: Eyaz Ciziri

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Comments

  1. Bijan
    February 26, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Please reprint this important article:

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/case-delisting-pkk-foreign-terrorist-organization

    Wish you the very best, brave Kurdish freedom fighters,

    Bijan,
    Washinghton

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