The visit of a Syrian general to Italy contrary to European law

28.06.2018

Fourteen NGOs, including TRIAL International, have denounced Ali Mamluk’s official visit to Rome in February 2018. The former head of the Syrian intelligence services is suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In February 2018, the Head of the Syrian intelligence services, Ali Mamluk, met with senior security officials in Italy, the Minister of the Interior, Marco Minniti, and the Head of Italian intelligence services, Alberto Manenti. Yet Ali Mamluk is being investigated for crimes against humanity and war crimes in several countries, in Europe and beyond.

The NGO European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) submitted a complaint to the European Commission against the Italian government, on the grounds that travel restrictions imposed by the EU on Ali Mamluk have clearly been flouted.

More generally, the Council of Europe requires Member States to prevent those responsible for the violent repression against the civilian population in Syria from entering their territory. As the ECCHR points out, general Ali Mamluk, given his rank, cannot ignore the arbitrary arrests, forced detentions, and acts of torture committed in Syria since 2011.

TRIAL International has joined other civil society organizations to request the opening of proceedings against the Italian government with the European Commission. Senior officials of the Syrian regime must be prosecuted for their crimes, and not officially meet an EU Member State in the sole interests of its intelligence services.

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