IIIM-Syria Welcomes Dabbagh Case Verdict

Geneva, 27 May 2024 – The International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism – Syria (IIIM) welcomes the verdict by the Paris Judicial Court which has found three high-ranking Syrian officials guilty of complicity in crimes against humanity and war crimes committed against two French Syrian nationals, Mazen Dabbagh and his son Patrick Dabbagh.

Ali Mamlouk, Jamil Hassan and Abdel Salam Mahmoud were sentenced, in absentia, to life imprisonment for complicity in imprisonment, torture, enforced disappearance and murder constituting crimes against humanity, as well as for confiscation of property, qualified as war crime. The lawsuit was filed in 2016 by the relatives of the victims, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH), with the support of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM).

IIIM Head, Robert Petit, said “This landmark case sends an important signal that even the highest levels of power, perpetrators can be held accountable”. Mr. Petit added, “This case was possible due to the tireless efforts of Syrian victims and survivors over many years. This verdict is a sign that the pursuit of inclusive justice is not in vain”.

The IIIM supported the investigation by providing information, evidence and analytical products. During the trial former IIIM Head, Catherine Marchi-Uhel, gave testimony in court as a context witness.

“The different types of assistance the IIIM was able to provide for this particular case is an example of the expertise we can offer to jurisdictions who are holding perpetrators accountable”, Mr. Petit said. “It is another example of how CSOs, jurisdictions and accountability bodies like the IIIM working together can deliver justice and accountability”.

Established in 2016 in a historic resolution by the UN General Assembly, the IIIM has a mandate to assist in the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under international law committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011.

To date, the IIIM has received 375 requests for assistance, related to 275 distinct investigations across 16 jurisdictions. It collects information from a range of stakeholders, with the majority of its sources being Syrian civil society actors. It consolidates and preserves the data, preparing and sharing on request, and proactively, information, evidence and analysis.