Germany ‘seeks extradition’ of Syria’s Jamil Hassan from Lebanon

12
82
Germany ‘seeks extradition’ of Syria’s Jamil Hassan from Lebanon

Beirut, Lebanon – Germany has asked Lebanon to extradite Syrian General Jamil Hassan, Der Spiegel reported, after the notorious chief of Syria’s Air Force Intelligence Directorate was reportedly admitted to a hospital in Lebanon.

The German federal prosecutor had issued an arrest warrant against the general in June for committing crimes against humanity based on a complaint filed by Syrian refugees in Germany. 

Thousands of Syrians have allegedly been tortured in detention centres under the direct control of General Hassan, Syria’s longest-serving intelligence chief and considered to be among the most powerful officials in the country. 

Al-Masdar, an Arabic-language news outlet, first reported on Thursday that General Hassan was in Lebanon to seek medical treatment. There has been no official confirmation on his whereabouts since. 

Anwar al-Bunni, a Germany-based Syrian human rights lawyer, told Al Jazeera that his sources informed him that General Hassan was being treated under the watch of Hezbollah, the Iran-backed political group and militia, and a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“I found out through sources in Syria and then through those in Lebanon that Jamil Hassan was in a hospital in Lebanon under Hezbollah’s protection,” said Bunni, who is helping former Syrian prisoners seeking justice in European countries.

“Germany’s foreign office called me to find out what I knew and I told them. I think they must have also collected their own intelligence.”

General Hassan is a member of al-Assad’s inner circle and a vociferous proponent of tougher tactics to quell the uprising that began in 2011. The US Treasury Department froze his assets because of his role in cracking down on protesters that year.

Patrick Kroker, a lawyer with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights which has also facilitated the filing of the case against General Hassan in Germany, said that the idea behind Germany’s diplomatic move is to restrict the general’s movement and send a message that Berlin is determined to not just “chase but also catch Hassan”.

“This is big,” he said. “It means that Germany did not issue the arrest warrant for symbolic reasons but is really going after him.”

However, Germany has shied away from officially confirming the extradition request. Al Jazeera reached out to the country’s federal prosecutor’s office but had yet to receive a response at the time of publication.

Lebanon’s Interior Ministry denied receiving any notification from Interpol to arrest the general.

Michael Aoun, Lebanon’s president, said that if General Hassan was in Lebanon, his office did not know. “If he (General Hassan) sneaked in because of the difficulty of controlling the border, it must be investigated,” Aoun said.

Aoun’s political party, the Free Patriotic Movement, is an ally of Hezbollah in the Lebanese parliament. However, experts said information about the possible whereabouts of the Syrian general may well have been concealed from him.

“Lebanon is under the control of Hezbollah which will never let the Lebanese government send the Syrian general to Germany,” Bunni said.

Kroker agreed and said that while chances of Lebanon handing the general over might be slim, the message is clear. “He cannot rely on the benevolence of every country he travels to, not for long.”

Syria is not a signatory to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its citizens, therefore, cannot be prosecuted in The Hague. Furthermore, Russia and China have vetoed several attempts to set up an international tribunal to adjudicate on the crimes, purportedly to protect high-ranking officials in the Syrian administration such as General Hassan.

However, Germany’s universal jurisdiction laws allow it to prosecute people for war crimes committed anywhere in the world. Just last week, two Syrian intelligence officials were apprehended by German law enforcement. Anwar R was arrested for his involvement in torturing Syrians between 2011-12 and Eyad A for assisting in the killing of two and torturing of at least 2,000 people.

Kroker attached huge significance to the arrests. “For the first time, there will be a trial and Syrians would be able to see that it is possible to get justice. In all likelihood, it would be a public trial.”

These two officials were in Germany while General Hassan is unlikely to ever set foot in Europe. Germany cannot prosecute in absentia, leading experts to believe that he would escape a trial.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.

    I will definitely return.

  2. tarot card reading
    tarot reading
    tarot card meanings
    tarot card meanings list
    love tarot reading
    tarot card meanings pdf
    tarot cards reading
    one card tarot reading
    how to do a tarot reading
    tarot card reading near me
    https://ericsundwall.com/tarot-card-reading-and-meanings/
    tarot card reading free
    tarot card reading meaning
    tarot card readings online
    tarot card reading love
    tarot card reading austin
    tarot card reading youtube
    tarot card reading nyc
    tarot card reading layout
    tarot card reading how to
    tarot card reading lotus
    tarot card reading accuracy
    tarot card reading aries
    tarot card reading accurate
    tarot card reading austin texas
    tarot card reading about love
    tarot card reading astrology
    tarot card reading aquarius
    tarot card reading a sin
    a psychic card reading
    a free tarot card reading
    pick a tarot card reading
    is a tarot card reading accurate
    do a tarot card reading
    how a tarot card reading works
    how does a tarot card reading work
    the aeon tarot card reading
    what does a tarot card reading tell you
    the moon tarot card reading
    tarot card reading boston

  3. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit
    and sources back to your weblog? My blog is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors
    would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this ok with you. Regards!

  4. I was suggested this blog via my cousin. I’m not positive whether
    this submit is written by way of him as no one
    else know such exact about my difficulty. You’re incredible!
    Thank you!

  5. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?

    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work
    due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

  6. Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate
    your content. Please let me know. Thank you

  7. May I just say what a relief to discover somebody that actually understands what they are talking about on the net.
    You definitely understand how to bring a problem to
    light and make it important. More people really
    need to read this and understand this side
    of your story. It’s surprising you are not more popular because
    you most certainly possess the gift.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here