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German authorities arrest Syrian militia leader for suspected war crimes

A Syrian national accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes between 2012 and 2015 has been arrested in Germany. The suspect, identified as Ahmad H, was taken into custody in Bremen last week.He is alleged to have been a local leader of the pro-Syrian government militia called “shabiha,” known for brutally suppressing dissent during the civil war that began in 2011.

According to the accusations, Ahmad H was responsible for beating civilians and subjecting detainees to torture, forcing them to carry sandbags under fire without access to food or water.

The state-sponsored shabiha militiamen carried out arbitrary arrests, extortion, and torture, with Ahmad H personally accused of abusing civilians, including an incident in 2013 where he ordered fellow militia members to brutally torment a detained man using plastic pipes.

Omar al-Assad, advocacy and communications manager for the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, emphasized the significance of arresting individuals like Ahmad H, who have close connections to war crimes in Syria.

He highlighted the importance of seeking justice through European courts, given the challenges of pursuing accountability within Syria.As of now, Ahmad H remains in custody, and it has not been disclosed how or when he arrived in Germany.

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