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“Warrant Issued: France Demands Arrest of Syrian President Assad!”

France has issued a shocking arrest warrant for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in connection with accusations of torture and other crimes against humanity during the nine-year long civil war in Syria. The warrant claimed that a unit under the control of Assad’s intelligence agency was responsible for the detention, torture, and killing of thousands of people during the conflict.

The warrant was issued by a French judge on the grounds of ‘universal jurisdiction’. Universal jurisdiction is a legal principle that allows states or international organizations to prosecute serious violations of international law outside their own domestic jurisdiction.

This is not the first time Assad has been accused of wartime atrocities. In 2017, the United Nations published a report accusing Assad of “extermination”, “rape”, and “enforced disappearance” among other crimes against humanity. The report called for an international criminal tribunal to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes.

Although this latest arrest warrant bears no legal consequences in Syria itself, a French prosecutor has officially requested an international arrest warrant from Eurojust, the European Union agency responsible for judicial cooperation in criminal matters. If granted, the warrant would make it possible for the Assad regime to be extradited to France.

The warrant marks a significant moment in Assad’s time in power, as it is the first international arrest warrant to be issued against a sitting head of state since Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge leaders were targeted by an international tribunal in 1996.

The warrant is also likely to add to the diplomatic pressure on Assad from other world leaders, and could put further strain on already strained relations between France and Syria.

To date, Assad has denied all accusations of war crimes and has consistently denied any responsibility for the conflict in Syria.

It is unclear how the warrant will be enforced, as Assad is unlikely to travel to France or any other country while the warrant is in place. However, it indicates the growing international focus on the Syrian president and his entourage.

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