Life imprisonment was requested against three senior officials of the Syrian regime tried in absentia before the Paris Assize Court for complicity in crimes against humanity and war crimes on Friday May 24.

The Advocate General also requested that the effects of the arrest warrants against Ali Mamlouk, former head of the national security office, the highest intelligence body in Syria, and Jamil Hassan, former director of the intelligence services, be maintained. of the Air Force, and Abdel Salam Mahmoud, former director of the investigation branch of these services.

Due to their place in the hierarchical chain, they are suspected of having played a role in the forced disappearance and death of Mazzen Dabbagh and his son Patrick. These two Franco-Syrians were arrested in Damascus in 2013 and transferred to the detention center at Mazzeh airport, run by the feared air force intelligence services. They gave no further sign of life until they were declared dead in August 2018.

“The architects of this system”

But the investigations carried out by the crimes against humanity unit of the Paris judicial court made it possible to consider that it was “sufficiently established” that they had suffered torture and that they had died as a result.

Beyond their case, it is the massive and systematic nature of the abuses committed by the Syrian regime on its civilian population which animated the debates of this trial, unprecedented in the history of French justice. The facts of which Mazzen and Patrick Dabbagh were victims “are part of a context in which tens, even hundreds, of thousands of Syrians can recognize themselves”, underlined the attorney general in her requisitions.

She worked to demonstrate that the regime of Bashar Al-Assad was pursuing “a repressive state policy, implemented by the highest levels” of the hierarchy and “delivered locally in each governorate”. According to the representative of the public prosecutor’s office, the accused constitute, like Mr. Al-Assad, “the architects of this system” and must therefore be condemned for complicity in crimes against humanity and war crimes.