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Netherlands: Syrian Executioner from Dronten Still in Amsterdam Prison

Charges against the man include allegations of torturing, killing, and raping his fellow countrymen, according to Zaman al-Wasl.

Rafiq, 55, a resident of Dronten, is currently detained on suspicion of international crimes against Syrian civilians, as stated by the court in The Hague, according to the De Stentor newspaper.

The charges against Rafiq include allegations of torturing, killing, and raping his fellow countrymen during the Syrian war in 2013 and 2014. The Public Prosecution asserts that during this period, he served as the head of an interrogation department for a Syrian militia in the central city of Salamiya, aligned with the government, where activists have labelled him as an executioner.

Reportedly fleeing for his life, Rafiq sought refuge in the Netherlands in July 2021, obtained a residence permit, and resided in Dronten with his family for a year. However, he came under the scrutiny of the Dutch police’s international crimes team, leading to his arrest on Friday after months of investigation.

The investigating judge has decided to keep Rafiq in detention for fourteen days, with a subsequent court ruling to determine whether he will remain in pre-trial detention for at least another three months. Rafiq’s lawyer, Andre Sebregts, refrained from commenting on the case, citing his client’s disability and the prohibition on contact with the outside world.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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