Syrian chemical weapons victims start legal action in Sweden

Victims of Syrian chemical weapons attacks begin legal action against Assad regime officials in Sweden
2 min read
20 April, 2021
Victims of chemical weapons attacks in Syria have started legal proceedings against Assad regime officials.
Chemical weapons attacks in Syria have killed hundreds [Getty-file photo]
Victims of Syrian chemical weapon attacks living in Sweden have taken legal proceedings against Assad regime officials who have been widely blamed for the massacres.

Lawyers representing the victims said the plaintiffs had filed criminal complaints with Swedish police against unnamed figures of the Syrian regime on Monday.

"The groups call on Swedish judicial authorities to open an investigation into these attacks, so that Syrian officials responsible for these war crimes can be put on trial under the principle of universal jurisdiction," the groups said in a statement, according to Reuters.
War crimes committed anywhere in the world can be investigated by Swedish police.

The complaints relate to two of the most deadly chemical attacks in the Syrian war - Eastern Ghouta in 2013 and Khan Sheikhoun in 2017 - both widely acknowledged to have been committed by the regime.

The deadly sarin nerve agent was likely used in both attacks, killing hundreds of civilians in the opposition towns, but the regime has blocked attempts for an independent investigation into the massacres.

The OPCW chemical weapons watchdog concluded earlier this year that the Syrian air force carried out a chlorine gas attack in 2018.

The Syrian regime is believed to have use chemical weapons at least 300 times during the war and committed other war crimes such as barrel bombing, shooting protesters, and torture.

Syrians have filed complaints against regime officials in other parts of Europe, including France and Germany.

In February, Syrians celebrated the conviction of a former regime intelligence officer in a landmark court case in Germany.

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