Universal Jurisdiction in Sweden: Victims of Syria’s Chemical Weapons Attacks Demand Justice
On April 19, 2021, together with victims from Syria, the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), Syrian Archive, Civil Rights Defenders (CRD), and the Open Society Justice Initiative submitted criminal complaints against the Syrian government for their use of chemical weapons in two chemical attacks in Al-Ghouta and Khan Shaykhun.
The complaints provide the most detailed description available of the sarin attacks on Eastern and Western Ghouta, Syria, on August 21, 2013, and the sarin attack on Khan Shaykhun, Syria, on April 4, 2017. They are the product of more than three years of investigation by the NGOs, and the complaints and supporting dossiers of evidence comprise extensive witness testimonies, open source investigation, and analysis. Taken together, the substantial evidence submitted conclusively demonstrates the Syrian government carried out the chemical attacks and indicates which officials should be investigated for their individual criminal responsibility for the chemical attacks.
This briefing paper provides an overview of the subject of the complaint, a summary of options for accountability for Syria’s use of chemical weapons, and legal avenues available in Sweden to prosecute the crimes committed in Syria.
- Access to Justice
- Civic Space
- Criminal Justice
- Discrimination and Equality
- Economic Justice
- International Justice
- National Security and Counterterrorism
- Rule of Law