Haisam Omar Sakhanh

27.09.2016 ( Last modified: 10.01.2018 )
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Sakhanh lived in Italy from 2002 until 2011, working as an electrician.

In 2011, when the Syrian civil war broke out, he actively protested against the Syrian regime. In 2012, the Italian police arrested him during riots at the Syrian embassy in Rome. After being interrogated by the police, he was released and summoned to appear before a judge. Shortly after these events, he fled to Syria to join the rebels and started working with Commander Abdul Saamad Issa (known as “The Uncle”).

According to sources, in April 2012 in the Syrian north-western province of Idlib, a group of Syrian rebels killed seven captured soldiers. The victims were executed with their hands tied in their back, head in the ground. In September 2013, the New York Times released a video picturing this killing scene. Sakhanh was identified as one of the alleged executioner in that video.

In June 2013, Sakhanh travelled to Sweden and applied for asylum, and obtained an official Swedish residency permit in October 2013.

Legal procedure

On 11 March 2016, Sakhanh was arrested in the city of Karlskoga (Sweden) for alleged war crime committed in north-western Syria. On 14 March 2016, he was remanded in custody by a court in Orebro, pending further investigation. Haisam Omar Sakhanh was formally charged with war crime by the Swedish prosecutor’s office on 29 December 2016.His trial before the District Court of Stockholm was held from 11 January until 23 January 2017.

On 16 February 2017, the District Court of Stockholm sentenced Sakhanh to life in prison for his participation in the massacre of 7 soldiers in Syria in 2012. The Court insisted in its judgement on the cruelty of the crime.

The court of appeal confirmed his sentence to life in prison on 31 Mays 2017. On 20 July 2017, the Swedish Supreme Court denied Haisam Omar Sakhanh’s leave to appeal.

Fact Sheet
Name: Haisam Omar Sakhanh
Nationality: Syrian
Charges: War crimes
Status: Sentenced
Judgement Place: Sweden
Particulars: Arrested on 11 March 2016 in Sweden and charged with war crimes; Sentenced to life in prison on 16 February 2017; Confirmed on appeal.