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Netherlands tries man over Syria execution video

Dutch police clashes with Turkish demonstrators who gathered outside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam to protest against the Dutch government's ban on Turkish ministers speaking in the country. 12 March 2017. [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]
Dutch police in Rotterdam on 12 March 2017 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

Dutch authorities announced they are trying a refugee on charges of war crimes following allegations that he oversaw murders during the Syrian war, local media reported.

According to reports, 49-year-old Ahmad Al K arrived in the Netherlands with his family in 2014. He was arrested in 2019 after being spotted in a crude video showing the murder of an unarmed Syrian soldier.

Following the arrest, he admitted to being present at the time of the video, but his lawyer argued that he was seeking a prisoner exchange from the captive in an effort to free siblings who had been jailed by the Syrian regime.

However, it has been alleged that Al K oversaw the killing using the name Abu Khuder, and operated as a local leader of the Al-Nusra militant group.

The 2012 video shows a captured lieutenant colonel in the Syrian air force being led to a river before being shot dead.

Although the case is the first of its kind in the Netherlands, other European countries have successfully prosecuted individuals who took part in crimes during the Syrian war.

In Germany, a former Syrian officer, 58-year-old Anwar Raslan, is facing trial over his alleged involvement in the torture of at least 4,000 people from 2011 to 2012. He faces charges of murder, rape and sexual assault.

READ: When Syrians lost their moment in history

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Europe & RussiaMiddle EastNetherlandsNewsSyria
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