Abdel Salam Mahmoud
In November 2013, Patrick Dabbagh and his father Mazen Dabbagh, both dual French-Syrian nationals, were arrested from their home in Damascus by Syrian Air Force Intelligence agents and detained for interrogation at the Mezzeh detention center. Neither one has been seen since. In summer 2018, the Dabbagh family received formal notification from the Syrian authorities that Patrick and Mazen Dabbagh had died. According to the United Nation’s Commission of Inquiry, Mezzeh has one of the highest mortality rates in Syria.
On 24 October 2016, a complaint was filed before the Paris Tribunal by Obeida Dabbagh, a Syrian- French national, on behalf of his nephew and brother, Mazen and Patrick Dabbagh, together with the International Federation for Human Rights and Ligue des Droits de l’Homme. An investigation into torture, crimes against humanity and enforced disappearances is currently ongoing before the French specialized unit for the prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture within the Paris Tribunal.
In October 2018, in an unprecedented step towards accountability for crimes committed in Syria, French judges issued international arrest warrants against three high-level regime suspects: Ali Mamluk, Jamil Hassan and Abdel Salam Mahmoud.
In 2019, the investigative judges heard around 20 new witnesses who had been held in the Mezzeh detention center in Damascus.
In 2020, the investigation is ongoing. Syrian survivors of the Mezzeh detention center in Damascus were heard by the investigative judge throughout the year.
In 2021, the investigative judges heard the NGO Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression as a civil party in the proceedings.