Syria: Alkarama Refers Cases of Seven Men Summarily Executed North of Homs by State Military Forces to Commission of Inquiry

the Syrian Independent International Commission of Inquiry (CoI)

On 25 April 2017, Alkarama and Human Rights Guardians referred to the Syrian Independent International Commission of Inquiry (CoI) the cases of seven men summarily executed in 2012. In late February of that year, these men, aged from 31 to 66 years old, were summarily executed by the Syrian military forces, during raids carried out in Kafr Al Tun, 60 kms north of Homs, merely because of their religious beliefs. “It is essential to continue to thoroughly document and register all cases of violations in the country, even if they took place five years ago,” says Inès Osman, Legal Coordinator at Alkarama. “This shows that this type summary executions carried out on discriminatory grounds, based on the religious or geographic origins of persons who are automatically perceived as ‘supporting the opposition’, is a systematic and long lasting practice which amounts to collective punishment.”

In late February 2012, Syrian military forces, accompanied by the “Shabiha” – a pro-Assad militia – carried out a “counter-terrorism operation”, raiding Kafr Al Tun and neighbouring villages. During these raids, civilians were arbitrarily arrested on sectarian grounds, many of them subsequently disappeared, while more than other 20 civilians, mostly belonging to the same family were summarily executed on 23 February 2012. 

Due to this operation, two brothers, Mohammad and Firas Al Asaad and their relatives, Ahmad and Mohammad Al Asaad, left their village of Kafr Al Tun to find shelter in the neighbouring Subin, where they were hosted by the local sheriff, 62-year-old Radwan Al Hussein, and his 31-year-old son Moaaz. However, on 23 February 2012, Syrian security forces comprising members of the 7th division of the Syrian army, the Air Force Intelligence, the Military Intelligence Division – also known as “Military Security” – and the “Shabiha”, raided the village of Subin. At around 10 am that day, they stormed into Al Hussein’s house and arrested all the people in the house, before bringing them to a deserted car wash. According to Al Hussein’s wife, who witnessed the events, the security forces questioned them on their religious beliefs and shot them all, leaving the six men dead.

Four day later, on 27 February 2012, the same security services raided the nearby village of Shir. A group 13 armed men, some in military uniforms, others in civilian clothes, broke into the house of a 66-year-old local farmer, Abdel Nasser Al Khairo. His wife and sister-in-law, who were with him in the house, witnessed the armed men destroying Al Khairo’s belongings and furniture, before dragging him outside and shooting him dead.

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