Former Syrian officer faces war crimes trial in Sweden

Stockholm Court building in Sweden (Flickr)

Stockholm Court building in Sweden (Flickr)


The former Syrian officer Mohammed Hamou, 65 years old, is facing a trial in Stockholm, Sweden, for alleged war crimes committed in Syria in 2012, according to Swedish media reports cited by the Agence France-Presse on Wednesday, November 10.

According to Barrons news website, Hamou, who resides in Sweden, is accused of inciting indiscriminate attacks in the cities of Hama and Homs and their surrounding areas between January 1 and July 20, 2012. 

The charges state that the attacks were carried out by air and ground forces without distinguishing between civilian and military targets, as required by international law.

The prosecutor, Carolina Wieslander, stated that “the attacks did not respect the principle of proportionality to achieve the intended military objective.” 

The indictment mentioned that Hamou, in his role at that time, was an accomplice to these crimes and was specifically involved in decisions related to arming “operational” units, being responsible for carrying out various military operations during that period. 

Seven civilian parties, including Syrians from the affected cities, will testify during the trial, including a British photographer who was injured in one of the mentioned attacks. 

Previous convictions have been issued by European courts against former officers from the Syrian regime, accused of committing violations against Syrians. 

In January 2022, the Higher Regional Court in the southwestern German town of Koblenz issued its verdict in the case of the Syrian officer accused of “crimes against humanity” committed in detention centers affiliated with the Syrian regime in Damascus. 

The judge sentenced the former Syrian General Intelligence officer Anwar Raslan to conviction and life imprisonment with full cost liability for the victims. 

In February 2021, the court convicted Eyad al-Gharib and sentenced him to four and a half years in prison for “crimes against humanity.” 

Al-Gharib is considered the second-ranking official in the case after the accused Anwar Raslan and was previously charged with incitement to commit torture against detainees, detention of individuals in 2011, and transferring them to Branch 251, where they were subsequently subjected to torture.

Al-Gharib was released by the regional court in September 2023, following the completion of his sentence, according to his son’s publication on his personal Facebook page.


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